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Monday, 25 January 2010 05:02

In Greek folk dance, steps are relatively simple but the style of execution varies from place to place and is difficult to reproduce. It takes an accomplished dancer years of dancing with good dancers who possess the local style and with good music, to become imbued with it. The leader of the line in a chain dance has the most important role, as his understanding of the idiom is transmitted to the musicians and to the other dancers.

While most folk dance troupes around the world have learned their dances from dance masters or choreographers, this ensemble has built up its repertoire by inviting groups of villagers to perform on stage. As each village was presented, the troupe's dancers learned the dances by dancing with the villagers. These original appearances were filmed and serve today as a reference to check whether dances are still executed in the genuine style.

About 80 different villages, islands or regions can be presented, each one with its particular costume, music and dances. For comparison, an average folk dance group in Greece has a tenth of this repertoire. The total number of dances in the repertoire is over 400.

Because dances are presented as authentically as possible, in the same manner and style as they have been brought by the villagers, the troupe has no choreographer. Senior dancers perform the tasks of artistic direction and rehearsal organization. New dancers hone the fine points of a particular local style in the traditional way: dancing during rehearsals alongside older dancers. There is no major dance company in the world which can boast such a feature, and it is another source of pride.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 January 2011 09:59