Greek dance is characterized by the circle and dances counterclockwise. There are two types of movement: jumping / hopping and shuffle / drag. The latter is called ‘sirtos’ and is the older form of the two, characterized by a slow fast fast rhythm. Traditionally, men and women usually danced separately, the women in a circle on the inside and the men on the outside. The oldest, most prominent man would lead the dance, followed by the men in descending order of eminence, then the women in the same order as employment.
Other ancient types
Pyrrihic was a martial art, part of a Gymnopaedia was athletic, something like modern gymnastics. Geranos included serpentine movements in imitation of Theseus chasing Minotaur in the maze. Ierakio honored the goddess Hera and danced by women. Epilinius was danced while striking grapes for wine, in honor of god Dionysius Emelia and Cordax was the dance of tragedy and comedy. Sikkinis was satirical. Imeneos was a marriage dance, danced by the bride, her mother and friends. Hormone was danced by young men and women together The men demonstrated their fighting spirit, and the women responded by showing their virtue. Iporchima was danced by boys and girls together and included pantomime and singing.
The purpose of dance
Greek dances are usually used d for rides of passage events, such as weddings. Sirtos can be a wedding dance or the bride’s dance. After being crowned and officially married, the bride and groom circle a table three times in an open circle, which goes counterclockwise as usual in Greek dance. The tradition is that this is the newlyweds’ first act as husband and wife.
Dancers form a line, with the lead dancer at the right end, and the dancers unite to grab the handkerchiefs. The leading dancer, or ‘pro-orchestrators’, often performs intricate dance steps while the other dancers follow with more basic steps. The dancers’ feet cross each other back and forth, in an inward-facing circle, moving to the right. Since ancient times, dance has been crucial to Greek culture. Dance was used as preparation for battle, and dance screens provided income for community expenses. According to the Greek information society, the Greeks have such a high respect for dance that they often call their prominent citizens ‘leading dancers’. Plato believed that dance was divine and a gift from the gods.