Ancient Greeks believed that dance is the gift of the Gods to humanity.
Contemporary folk dances date all the way back to Ancient Greece and are thus often referenced by authors like Plato, Aristotle and Plutarch.
It is summer, and we are in the mood to dance…However, in outdoor non-crowded places, and without holding hands, due to the ongoing Covid situation..
Τι να κάνουμε!
Greek Traditional Dances
Greece has a very wide spectrum of folk dances that vary from one place to another; there is no specific number, but experts suggest that there are more than 4000 of them.
Quite an impressive number considering the size of the country! The dances are informed by each location’s traditions mentality beliefs and history – may that be mainland Greece or one of its numerous islands.
Traditional Greek dances have a primarily social function. They bring local communities together; they are the highlight of key annual celebrations such as Easter celebrations and
summer festivals as well as important moments in people’s personal lives such as weddings, birthdays, etc.
It’s quite common for modern Greeks to learn at least a few traditional dances as children or teenagers either at school or at independent dance schools since it is seen as a way to
pass the traditions from one generation to another.
Most of the Greek traditional dances, are not so difficult to learn, and you do not need to be athletic or a dancing type in order to learn the steps.
However, for foreigners, it is often more complicated than it looks, due to the different rhythms in the music, than we are used to in other European countries.
So you often need to get used to the rythm first, before your feet will follow your mind 🙂
One of the easiest dances to learn for foreigners, is the “xasaposervikos”, since it has a simple rhythm, very close to music Europeans or North Americans are used to in their countries.
Α small introduction to the “xasaposervikos” dance:
Xasaposercikos, also called hasaposervikos or servikos, is a traditional Greek dance with simple basic steps that are repeated throughout the song.
As a result, it’s good for beginners, but do not be fooled – it’s a quick one!
The tempo of the dance is 2/4 and it has been influenced by the music traditions of other Balkan countries and Eastern Europe, such as Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria.
“Servikos” is the Greek word for Serbian after all.
People of all these nationalities would travel from one big urban center to another as well as to the coast for Asia Minor for professional purposes.
Wandering musicians, many of them being Gypsies, would also travel to these places and they would experiment with the different music and dances of the areas they visited. In Greece, hasaposerviko bloomed
and became more defined under the influence of rebetiko music.
The dancers hold on to each other in a shoulder-hold and, starting with the right foot, they make three steps to the right. Then, they kick the left foot forward, step down to the left and kick out with the right foot.
Below some songs that are a good indication of hasaposervikos music and tempo:
Do you think it is difficult to dance?
Do not worry, you can do it as well! Take a look at the video below, where foreigners from every corner of the world, dance the xasapikoservikos 😉