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  Relations Between the Leading Dancer and the Co-Dancers in Neo-Hellenic Dance -Dr. nna Panagiotopoulou  



To make this paper fully comprehensible, the terms used must first be explained.

By the term "Neo-Hellenic Dance" we mean the dance phenomenon of Greece, which is also known as Greek traditional dance.


We use the term "Neo-Hellenic Dance" because this phenomenon was formed within the framework of the Neo-Hellenic civilization, the beginning of which can be traced back to the mid 10th century A.D., when the Acritic folk songs appeared for the first time.(Song (cycles about the frontier guards of the Byzantine Empire).



 *The partial or entire republication of articles and texts is prohibited without the written approval of "Greek Dance Archives"

Relations Between the Leading Dancer and the Co-Dancers in Neo-Hellenic Dance

( Case Study from the Dorida District)

Dr. nna Panagiotopoulou




To make this paper fully comprehensible, the terms used must first be explained.

By the term "Neo-Hellenic Dance" we mean the dance phenomenon of Greece, which is also known as Greek traditional dance.


We use the term "Neo-Hellenic Dance" because this phenomenon was formed within the framework of the Neo-Hellenic civilization, the beginning of which can be traced back to the mid 10th century A.D., when the Acritic folk songs appeared for the first time.(Song (cycles about the frontier guards of the Byzantine Empire).


1. The use of the term "Neo-Hellenic dance" does not indicate that we are disputing the continuity of the Greek civilization, and thus of the Greek dance from the times of Ancient Greece until present day. However, we have to distinguish it for the purpose of providing better identification and understanding of this phenomenon. With this distinction the chronological limits of this phenomenon are defined, and the various circumstances and conditions that contribute to its characteristics, are taken into consideration. The following circumstances are of importance:

Historical processes\'. We have to take into account the spread of the Byzantine Empire, the foreign rule in Greece (Frankish, Venetian, Turkish), as well as the historical circumstances of the free Greek state from 1821 till the present day. The Greek provinces acquired their characteristics during the Byzantine period and maintained them during the period of the Turkish rule (1453­1821), and continued to keep them after the liberation of Greece, until the beginning of the 20th century, with minor differences 2 .


2. Political, social and economical conditions.  In order to examine the traditional dance of Greece which appears mainly in the Greek countryside, we need to bear in mind the prevailing conditions in the Greek provinces from the Byzantine period: The appearance of dispersed villages, of old-established relations concerning ownership and taxation. The division of society into peasants, foreigners and landless peasantry, landowners, feudal lords and of the monasteries, as well as co-operatives, free-felling timber and pastoral economies, in inaccessible areas and forests.

Thus, in the Greek Byzantine provinces, a basic contrast was established between the landowners and the free peasants 3. The free peasants were the most important vehicles for collecting taxes, politics, and culture in the Byzantine provinces. In this way historical and social relationships were formed in the Byzantine provinces, which found their expression in the popular culture of the villages and provinces. During the period of foreign rule (Frankish, Venetian, Turkish) while the above relationships were maintained, they became, however, far more dramatic, as foreign occupation, oppression, looting, murders, and persecutions\' took their toll.


In contrast to this situation, a new revolution culture had already appeared in the 1011 century. This, together with the Acritic and the Popular movement, and a new brand of humanism, had emanated from the Byzantine provinces and reached the capital city of Byzantium. This new revolutionary culture, comprising an ideological movement, turned intensely against the Turkish rule, when the Turks conquered Byzantium. This is the background, which determined the popular culture of the Greek provinces, their folklore, and the Greek traditional dances almost to this day. Summarizing the above one could say that: that of the villages, provinces, and a peasant way of life replaced the leading role of the Ancient Greek cities. There is acontrast, though, between the landowners and the landless peasantry. In this circumstances the Greek Orthodox civilization emerged, together with the Neo-Hellenic revolution. The Neo-Hellenic civilization was formed, within which the characteristics of the Neo-Hellenic dance emerged.


It is necessary to view the Greek traditional dance in this context in order to understand it and to avoid any misunderstandings.


The area where the research was conducted on location is the district of Dorida. Dorida constitutes a representative case of region which is mainly peasant country, and, during the period of Turkish rule was the centre of the Liberation Movement  (Kleftko)6. Unless the Neo-Hellenic revolution against the Turks is taken into account, the popular culture of Dorida, its customs, folk songs, and dance will be incomprehensible.


The district of Dorida belongs to the county of Fokidas, in the province of Sterea Ellada. In Dorida and in other mountainous regions of Greece, development in relation to technical progress and industrial revolution was delayed. Thus the traditional forms of folk culture have been more truly preserved. For this reason this area is of major importance for field research.


All these details have been mentioned in order to make the term "Neo-­Hellenic Dance" in the district of Dorida comprehensible to the reader.

In order to explain the reason, which led us to examine the existing relations in the local dance tradition, the following dance characteristics are discussed. These account for the phenomenon of traditional dance in Greece in general.


In the traditional dance formation, the first dancer, that is the dancer at

 the head  of the open circle, becomes the centre of the dance process.

To the participants\' understanding, this person is the leader, and the subsequent dancers take part in "his" dance. The first dancer, or this

Position in the dance, is described in various areas of Greece in the

following way: the person in front is called "Prostinos" or "Protos"; "the first one", or "the one who leads the dance" etc. This is also quoted in a folk song: "...you who lead the dance turn the circle..."\'. The first dancer develops a different action in comparison with the other dancers.


With the dominant position of the circle formation, everyone has the right to join the dance, always according to the traditional, prevailing rules in every region of Greece. These rules concern the taking of the appropriate place in the circle, with the first place being taken in turn.


Based on these features of the Greek traditional dance, we intend to present in this paper the relations, which appear and develop during the dancing process, between the first and all the other dancers.


Here we have to point out that the system of relations appears between the first dancer, and all the remaining participants that are dancers, musicians, and the onlookers.


In this study, we survey particularly the relationships developing between the first dancer and his co-dancers. For a better understanding of the field material itself, some selected opinions and expressions of the people of this area, are quoted in the References.


This study of the relationships is based on the initial results of a scholarly research on dance conducted on location in the district of Dorida. It comprises a group of ten villages, belonging to the semi­-mountainous valley of Doridae.


The research was conducted through interviews, direct participation in dance events, observation, recording (video, tape-recorder, camera), and autobiographical knowledge, as the researcher herself is of local origin.


The basic questions posed for the conduct of this study are:

. What type of relationships emerges from the dance activity?

. What are the source and the meaning of these relationships?

III. Are they exogenous and external to the dancing phenomenon, or endogenous and internal?


The Environment of the Dorida District

The district of Dorida, as mentioned before, belongs to the county of Fokida, in Sterea Ellada.


Geographically, Dorida borders in the East with the district of

Parnaside in the same country of Fokida, in the Nort1 with the country of

Fthiotida, in the West with the country of Etolia Karnania, and in the South it is washed by the Korinthian Gulf. Dorida has history of continuity and connections with these surrounding areas.


The landscape of Dorida consists of distinct contrasts, comprising the massive of:  Giona, Vardousia, Parnasos, and Trikorfo, which are a continuation of the mountain chain of the Pindos. These mountainous areas extend to low, mainly narrow hilly ravines, closed valleys, and towards the varied but steep coast of the Korinthian Gulf.


n the mountainous areas of Dorida small and large subterranean pools are often formed, where an hydrographic underground network is created. Therefore, there are springs, mainly in the hilly zone, which allowed the establishment of settlements, villages, and even contained nomadism. Noteworthy is the hydrographic network of Mornos (the main spring), which supplies the artificial lake of Mornos with water. This became the basic source of Athens\' water supply for the last 15 years.


The geomorphology of the landscape presents distinct contrasts, which contribute to the varied, continental, and alpine climate, with specific flora. Extreme temperatures range between +44°C and -15°C. Great differences appear between the coastal, inland, and mountainous areas, particularly during days with frost and snow general, Dorida has a lot of sunshine, a low scale humidity, and with the evening coolness, it has a very good climate.


The climate of Dorida is even more pronounced in the type of vegetation. The flora of the mountainous zone adapts itself to the prevailing periods of coolness, in coastal areas to periods of drought, and moderate conditions appear in wet areas, which are of the greatest importance for the development of folklore and culture of this area.


Throughout the year the flora is profuse and multi-colored. During the period between March and June, "even the stone blooms", and the whole area is transformed into a paradise of plants, flowers and colors. The colorful landscape reaches its peak during the Orthodox Easter feast, and adds splendor to the collective dance activities.


One can say that the landscape of the area and the flora have greatly influenced the popular culture, the traditional folklore and dance, and affected the residents themselves. This is evident in their patterns of life, their working procedures, economy, and their household. It is safe to say that the flora and the landscape became an integral part of their spiritual life, and had an influence even on the mentality of the population of this area.

The relationships f Dorda\'s residents with "nature" are much more complex than one would assume. These relationships are imprinted in their myths, proverbs, songs and dances, e.g. one of the folk song says: "... the black mountains cry, without consolation..."


Dorida was historically part of the Byzantine Empire, where scattered villages may be found in place of the city-states of Ancient Greece, like Physkos and Kallipoli, where archaeological finds have come to light.


The participation of Dorida in the liberation movements against foreign

rule was intense  and significant due to the geomorphology of the land (steep mountains, caves, subterranean pools, narrow passes) and due to the  geographic position (a passage to the Peloponnesus). Dorda was the centre of the Liberation Movement (Kleffiko) against Turksh rule. This reached its climax with the Neo-Hellenic revolution against the Turks in 1821, and has been imprinted in the songs and dances of Dorida. Therefore, it is necessary to view the dancing in this context too, in order to comprehend fully the phenomena of dancing


The population of Dorida\'s villages after 1950 is constantly declining, and the area acquires the symptoms of abandonment and neglect. This condition is not due to the low birth rate or to infant mortality, but to emigration and abandonment of the area, mainly to Athens, in search of better conditions for jobs, health, education, communication, in a modern life style.


The agriculture and stock raising, which used to be the main source of economy, continues to decline steadily. But at the same time the profound ties of the people with their land are often the reason, which makes them visit their villages, mainly during the holidays, at Easter and in the summer, or even at weekends. Therefore the villages are being reconstructed, although many houses remain uninhabited over the major part of the year.


The level of education in the village is very low with the older generation. The young people reach the level of secondary education.

Illiteracy does not exist any more among the young people.


The residents of Dorida are the Orthodox Christians, and of Greek origin, without any minorities, therefore these characteristics are synonymous with national and religious identification .The language is Greek.

Our research on dance was focused mainly on the period of 1920­-1940, as rapid changes had occurred after 1950. However, the aspect of continuation of the dance culture to the present day was not neglected.


The economy in-between the two World Wars had reached poverty level. The main concern of the residents was to secure the basic necessities of life. But in spite of the poverty and the deficiencies, participation in the dancing was very much observed with great pride. They would not allow the poverty and deprivations to affect the family or individual dignity. The home economy, which had elements of self-­sufficiency, contributed to the attitude of pride and dignity.


People\'s inter-relationships are formed here mainly on the basis of kinship, which extends to the neighbouring villages (through the institution of marriage), with the strong concept of neighborhood, and the institution of "fraternization", that is of "cordial" friendship, which even extends to self-denial.


The basic expression of these relationships is solidarity in work, and in difficulties of life, but also in the participation in joyful events (feast, wedding, as well as in sadness.


The people are of an outgoing nature with easy contact and communication, very expressive, and quick to create relationships, but also disputes. Another important characteristic is the prevalence of hospitality, which is manifest in the dance, especially during each village\'s church fair when residents of neighboring villages participate. They arrived at the village celebrations on foot or by animal transport up to the 1960,s


Since the 1960\'s, however, some crucial developments occurred. On the one hand it was the exodus from the area, and on the other, the rapid arrival of industrial products in Greece.


At present, in the villages of this area, all these elements co-exist in horizontal and vertical projection: from satellite television to remnants of the 19th century, with imitations of Athenian urban elements, alongside the traditions of old Dorida. This evolutionary process in society and culture constitutes the background of the present research. The symbol of this situation is the traditional grandmother, who represents the memory of a bygone period, and discusses it all with a researcher of local origin, who is still a "local", but belongs also to another place, another period and a different level.


The Dance Culture


Dance activities in this area follow the cycle of the Church Calendar (Christmas, Carnival festivities, Easter, Church Fairs, Sundays, and Feasts of particular Saints, etc.) They also mark important events in human life (like baptism, engagement, wedding) and significant labor actives (planting of vineyards, etc.). In respect of family life and social togetherness, collective dancing reaches its climax at Easter celebrations and at Church Fairs. Church Fair is a special festivity in each village; when the day of the patron Saint is celebrate (, and when the dance contains features, which make it very special (dance event 9.


The following factors are involved in such events:


) It is an occasion of importance to the local people


b) The residents of neighboring villages join in and participate in the festivities.


c) The local inn is the venue, where tables, seats, wine, and roasted meat are supplied.


(1) The local music band (the kompania) appears (the instruments now in use are: clarinet, violin, sandouri (dulcimer), and lute. This set has replaced the instruments used before 1920, the karamouza (shawm), and daouli (drum).


On such days the appearance of the dancers is characterised by a marked seriousness, especially during the first hours of the feast. Everything is done to create solemn, official atmosphere. The expression displayed in the dance has grandeur corresponding with the festival occasion


In such dance events, the individuals join the dance as members of group, as one united company, which consists of close members of a family and of more distant relations, of friends, or guests. The composition of the group is a matter, which concerns the participants, and portrays preferences of the individual participants. So the group does not have a stable arrangement. If the dance place is spacious

enough, after the first group has started the dance, a second group might also join in. According to the traditional rules of dancing, however, the group that first started the dance leads the dance activities.


The formation of the dance consists of an open circle. In some cases there may appear two, three, or even four circles at the same time. The group in such an event usually consists of men and women, or only of men.


The musicians sit sometimes in the centre, if the area is big enough, and sometimes outside; always choosing a spot from which they are able to see the dance progression.


The question posed here is: why do individuals participate in the dance and why within a specific group? According to data collected, it seems that the individuals take part due to the common reason, for which the dance takes place, and also for personal reasons. We mean here the choice and decision available to each dancer, which is motivated by personal reasons. These have to do with the need to seek satisfaction by joining specific group. Thus, it can mean different things for each person according to the interviews, such as:


a)  a need to stress the relationships of kinship, and of friendly disposition to other people 10.


b) a need for Social recognition, approval through dancing together with particular persons of the chosen group, or in general 11.


c) need for mutual merrymaking with the chosen persons 12.


d) need to strengthen the social ties through common dancing, and to express and to expose it in front of the public 13.


e) need to restore relationships which were severed by alienation or wrong doing 14.


f) need for personal expression through dancing within the specific group 15


Usually each person in the circle takes a turn at the first place in the circle, and leads the dance, asking the musicians to play melodies of songs of his choice. The way to take the first place is the following: In principle women take precedence, particularly that all the women always dance in front, followed by the men. Most often the first place is given initially to older women, and after that to younger ones. The same applies to the men. Therefore, in such glorious dance events the dance starts with a woman as the leading dancer in the circle, who dances to song of her choice.  Each dancer usually leads for two songs. The first song chosen is according to the dance tradition, a "tsamiko", corresponding with the dance form of "tsamiko". The second song is "syrto" or "kounito", which can be called "syrtohounito".


The Role of the Participants in the Dance


There are certain roles to be played by the dancers within the circle. Basically, the leading dancer presents himself to the public by choosing songs and, implicitly, the dances. Thus one can distinguish the first dancer and the following co-dancers. However, the dance progression and expression of the co-dancers varies, and the first dancer always induces this diversification.


The inner feelings directed towards the first dancer are manifest in the following ways:

- Exclamations occur, like: "opa!", "aide!", "yasou!".

-                    Offerings:  a) The first, and all the remaining dancers are offered wine, which is ordered by some person.

                                  b) The musicians are offered wine and money.

-                    The intensity of the dancing movements is heightened.

-                     - Facial expressions reveal joy, emotion, and excitement.

-                     - Signs of approval are produced with hand gestures, and facial movements etc.


The place taken in the circle determines the diversification of the dancers\' behavior. For example, the performance of the second dancer, who holds the kerchief for the first one in the dance, is different from the behavior of the subsequent dancers, or the last one in the circle.


Therefore particular dancing relationship is established between the first dancer and the co-dancers, which we call: "the first" and "the second", "the first" and "the eteron" (the others), and "the last", as well as the relationship of the first dancer with himself, as he forms an autonomous dance unit.


Apart from the place in the circle, the dance progression and the expression of the co-dancers is determined by the following factors:


a. The sex of the first dancer. The dance behavior of the co-dancers is adjusted to the dancing style of the first, leading dancer.


b. The sex of the co-dancer. The dance movements are diversified according to the sex. The movements of the woman dancer are mild, smooth, and soft, whereas the movements of men are based on a contrast between mild and intense, soft and strong, sudden, high and low.


c. The pre-existing bond of kinship or friendship between the first and the co-dancer. The co-dancer who happens to be friend of the first dancer reveals a different behavior from that of a co-dancer, who is an uncle or a sister of the first. But apart from kinship, expression also has to do with the type of their relationship, whether it is based on true friendly feelings, or borders on just being casual.


d. Often a specific song, which is introduced by the first dancer, might move a co-dancer and lead him to express himself towards the first dancer, or to the musicians.


e. Musicians and music also become factors conducive to a diversified dance expression. good music performance, the adornments introduced, etc. may become a source of emotion, enthusiasm, and lead to an expression of it.


. The dance of the first dancer. The way he performs and interprets the music, emotions revealed through his movements, and the intensity of his dance, influence all the co-dancers.


According to the above, it is clear that the co-dancers reveal a diversified dance and movement behavior. Now we will discuss elements, which demonstrate the interaction and interdependence between the first dancer and the co-dancers.




These are some of the observation regarding the relationship between the first and the second dancers:


a. The second place in the circle is a means of expressing esteem and respect towards the first dancer. It means that the one, who holds the kerchief joining him with the first dancer, honours him and wishes to show publicly his esteem 16.


b. The second place is of crucial importance to the dance of the first dancer. If the second dancer does not know his role, he is not able to hold on to the first dancer in the appropriate way, he might obstruct the dance of the first 17.


c. The second place allows the dancer to reveal his deeper feeling to the first dancer. For any person to become a second dancer, means to express an empathetic attitude. 18


The first dancer through his expression in dance shows that:


a. He desires the participation of the second dancer in his dance.

This is strongly demonstrated, particularly with a male dancer in the lead, when he, for example, often forcefully moves the hand of the second dancer so as to underline of his position.


b. He continuously attempts to introduce the second dancer to his own dance level, in the same intensity of dancing, mainly through using the dance movements. 19.


c. He creates dance concepts along with the second dancer, for instance, he takes him out of the circle and together they pass under the kerchief, which they hold together.


Judging from the choreography that concerns the first and the second

Dancer, it appears that the second dancer:


a. Is a dancer of major importance to the performance of the first, as he is holding the kerchief connecting him with the first dancer?


b. Tries not to interrupt the first dancer\'s continuity in the dance. He constantly attunes and coordinates his dance movements to those

c. Tends to respond to the needs, requests and idiosyncrasies of the first dancer.


d. The expression of the second dancer, directed to the first, as contained in his dance movements, loud verbal exclamations, and in the offering of drinks and attention, reveal the inclination of the second dancer to inspire emotions, enthusiasm, and the intensity in the dance of the first. In other words the second constantly tries to increase the volume of dance performance, and the dance expression of the first


In this way the actions of the second dancer are intended to encourage, inspire and support the first dancer, and to create a co­operation, which is more of a co-action, or a joint activity. This means that the second dancer expresses positive feelings, understanding, support, affirmation and acceptance towards the first dancer.



The co-dancers:


a. The "Eteron" (The "Others"), are the dancers closet to the second one, and towards the middle of the open circle, and


b. The "Esxaton" (The "Last"), which means all the dancers closest to the last dancer including the last dancer himself participate in the dance led by the first dancer, in a different way. This was evident from the data concerning the choreographic appearance of the dance of the co-dancers. This differentiation is conditioned by the factors already mentioned above.


common characteristic of all the co-dancers is that they focus their attention the dance of the first dancer. The general tendency is to contribute to the continuation of the dance led by the first dancer. They all give him their support, and their encouragement. This shows that all the co-dancers demonstrate a tendency towards co-operation, support and following.


The last dancer, apart from the general attitude mentioned above, facilitates the task of the first dancer by watching out for the dance pattern to be adjusted, so that no interruption in the dance formation is caused. As result he often winds up the end of the open circle towards the center, in order to allow the first dancer to be seen by the onlookers.

The dancers closest to him follow up this motion.


The first dancer shows tendency of incorporating in his dances all of the co-dancers. In this way he exerts a unifying influence on the group. He transmits his intentions with dance movements, inspiring them to become more energetic, and through passing them one by one under the kerchief, which he is holding together with the second dancer

The dance and the expression projected by the first dancer are at all times a source of emotion and enthusiasm for all the co-dancers. On the other hand the expressions projected by the co-dancers move and excite the first dancer. There is indeed an "interaction" developing between the first and al the co-dancers, thus creating reciprocal relationship, where the actions of one dancer are inspired by actions of the other. All this is in agreement with the local dance culture, tradition, and rules.



In the dance process and in the system of relations, the leading person of the dance, the first dancer, takes the central place. In other words, the first dancer is the centre of the dance process and of the development of relationships.


At this point the following question arises: what is the leading dancer\'s relationship with himself, whom we name as the "first", and who forms an autonomous dance unit? To answer this question, we ought to identify the crucial points that concern the dancer in the leading position of the dance.

According to the observations made above, and concerning the dancer taking the first place in the open circle, the following issues are surfacing:


a. The dance of the first dancer is product of personal choice and decision; it is an independent and autonomous action.


b. The first dancer is the leader; he is the dancer responsible for the whole dance procedure.


c. The dance of the first dancer is a creative activity. It is an act of individual expression, involving imagination, and manifesting personal freedom, within the scope of the local traditional dance forms. His dance has a distinct structure and composition.


d. As soon as the dancer takes the first place , he declares  his presence to the community to, he displays himself in his dance, or even shows off, reveals himself, he transmits his idea, and he is being  evaluated.


e. The beauty and meaning of the dance as a collective procedure, is reflected in the dancing of the first dancer.   


f.  The leading dancer is emotionally moved, and is excited, without going beyond the accepted limit, nor does he become carried away.  He is dancing within the bounds of "knowing himself", of self-knowledge.


This instance therefore is of crucial importance for himself, in respect to himself, and in relation to all the participants. It is crucial because at this moment he reveals appreciated both by the onlookers, and by himself.


At this point the following question arises: How does the dancer see himself at this moment? We will try to find the answer in Sartre\'s \'L\'ETRE LE \'. If the dancer considers himself as part of the universe, then according to Sartre, he enters the dance as a cosmic and emotional centre of the cosmos, where everything moves around his presence.


However, this could mean that the principal of equality is under question. At this point the issue arises: which elements in the dance ensure the equality will not be obliterated? The answer is: These elements are the holding hand of the second dancer, the kerchief, and the form of the open circle. Further, it is  the circling motion and the "pleasant and accepting glance" of the other participants as described by the anonymous author of the "Greek NOMARCHIA", who defines it as the "Greek Glance" 20.

So every dance is aware that he stands as an equal in the eyes of the other participants, as Sartre puts it: " cannot know myself but through the others; that\'s the reason why the other\'s glance is considered to be annoying if it is not done in the spirit of equality, and sign of self-awareness, self-knowledge, when it is done in the spirit of equality." 21

So through the glances of the other participants, the leader establishes a new relationship with himself, he perceives himself in a new way. How is this manifest?


According to the interviews, when person takes the first place, he might tremble, blush etc. This indicates that he is in difficult position, because he has to overcome shyness and modesty. However, the happy, cheerful and pleasant glances of acceptance of the co-dancers and of the onlookers, and signs of love, are decisive factors in getting over this tension. Getting over an inhibition means having created new relationship with oneself. So the feeling of shame becomes a reason for self-correction, and liberation from the negative image of oneself. Overcoming this inhibition means getting over temporary alienation, and this leads to a higher level of identification of the person with the others. It means that the tension has been relieved through difficult, but important process.



The following may be concluded from the previous data:


a. The first dancer and all the co-dancers experience togetherness, become closer, become linked with each other into one unit, and learn how to co-exist.


b. The dance activity is characterised by direct contact, a dialogue, and inter-communication.


c. All the dancers take part in the spirit of creativity, co-operation, experiencing joint action, and direct participation.


d. The dance process is characterised by a unifying tendency.


It can be seen that during the dance process, certain relationships are created between the first dancer and the co-dancers. These relationships constitute a sub-system within the system of relationships regarding the total of the participants in the dance event, including the musicians and the participant onlookers.




These relations altogether


a. Concern people that are acquainted with each other, are close to each other, are related or belong to the close family. These are therefore interpersonal relations.


b. Concern the particular person as human being, and therefore these are human relationships.


c. From what has been discussed above it is evident that in the dance tendencies of amicability, mutual support, encouragement and solidarity appear. Therefore these relationships have a humanitarian aspect.


d. The persons involved in the dance have their own personal histories and are social beings. Therefore this data reveals humanitarian relations.


e. The anlysis of the dance elementsshows that the persons that are involved in the dance, move within the boundaries of dialogue, inter-communication, and contact. other words, it is not mob of people silently moving to the same rhythm, but living, articulate people, expressing themselves, revealig themselves, movig with each other and exciting each other,under the influence of the  songs, the music and musicians, the participant onlookers, and of the dance itself .These are all relations composed of dialogue, communication, and contact.


f. These relations are not static. They are the result of a particular moment of dance and they are relevant to the choreography of  the particular dance. These are choreographic relations and they are created on the spur of the moment, in other words they are choreogenetic relations.


these relations are characterised by originality, spontaneity, simplicity, naturaless, truth, authenticity, and enthusiasm within the framework of self-discipline.


Thus, all the co-dancers establish a connection with each other,and  attachment, friendship, partnership, and a dialogue. The result is group unity, social interdependence, and solidarity.


The above discussion shows that we are deadling with varying and complicated relations, which may be diverse according to their extent, intensity, and profundity.


All these relations are easily traceable, since they appear in public.

However, sometimes relationships are developed which, for the time being, will not be revealed for personal reasons, eg.love relationships. Such relationships are established and developed through "hidden" glances.


What is the source of all these relationship? It is evident that it is anyone participanting freely and indepandently in the dance event as a dancer, a musician, or an onlooker.


As to the question whether these relations are endogenous or exogenous in regard to the dance phenomenon we may conclude that: the dancers appear in the dance event as persons who have pre-existing relationships with their own family, relations or friends. That means that these relationships have been created prior to the dance event, therefore they are exogenous and are brought into the dance. However, in the dance they are displayed publicly, which equals with a public affirmation of relationships  a realisation a recognition and a stregthening  of this relationships


Sometimes one may come across a restoration of severed and worn-outrelationships, or new relationships developing, based on friendship, professional ties, love, or kinship (eg. at such occasions, parents or relatives can decide or plan marriages). these relationships emerge from the dance process, and therefore they are endogenous. In other words, dance is a phenomenon which carries and manifests relationships but also generates new relationships.


further develop the issue, we ought to establish the direction of these relationships: do they point towards the dance activity, are they internal, or are they directed towards issues outside the dance?

According to our data, these relationship are factors of choreogenesis, as they generate the dance. For example, when a co-dancer treats the first dancer to a drink, or expresses himself with an exclamation, or holds his hand through kerchief throughout the dance, such manifestations have an emotional effect on the first dancer, they move him, excite him, and lead him to reach a different tension, expression and quality of movement in dance.

This change also affects the musicians, who might intensify the rhythm, embellish the melody, prolong their playing, or change the melody. these issues can be traced back to the dancer, and they become the total dance activity. It is thus understandable that the relationships turn distinctly towards the dance, thus becoming internal. These relationships do not become extinct with the end of the dance, but their experience is carried on outside the dance in their life; they contribute to everyday life and personal contacts.

They contribute to the unity of a family, of relatives, and community life.

They contribute to the work relation and to the economy, to the strenghtening of traditional institutions, and the personal life of people, but also to the cultural development of the village.

They may contribute to the expansion of dance experience outside the community to which a person might belong, as a participant in the church fair in another village. Therefore, they contribute to cultural exchanges and they are clearly external.


Therefore, the relations established in the dance process show both endogenous introvertness and extrovertness, and at the same time, an exogenous extrovertness and introvertness. This means that the relations of the intro-extro-vertness show a dialogic, dialectic polarity .22. in which the poles remain clear and distinguishable In other words, Neo­ Hellenic dance appears to be a phenomenon of both, unity and diversity.


In this system of relationships we have the presence of historical real persons, determined by history, society, and civilisation, who reveal:


a. specific system of needs


b. body of thinking historical and socio-political subjects, as portrayed in the evident relations existing between the leader and the co-dancers. In  the dance process equality prevails. Thus the meaning implicit of the dance phenomenon can be described as a centre of democratic tendencies, which the leader exercises over the co-dancers, as well as over 11 the participants. The Neo­ Hellenic dance is indeed democratic phenomenon.



1. K.Paparigopoulos, The History of the Greek Nation, ed.Nikas ..: Athens, 8th edition. See also . Vakalopoulos (1991), Modern Greek History 1204-1985, Vanias: Thessaloniki. See further .. Bagnes - H.ST..B.Moss, (1988), Byzantium - An Introduction to the Byzantine Civilization, Papadimas: Athens.


2. A.Vakalopoulos, as above, .5-12. See also K.Dimaras (1987), The History of Modern Greek Literature, Ikaros, Athens, .5-7. See further N.H.Baynes etc. as above, p.23, and Stefanidou , (1959) The Church History, Athens, 2nd ed. p.138-467.


3. N.Svoronos, (1991), The Byzantine Provnce Society of Modern Greek Civlization Studies and General Education, Athens, p.34­40. See also A.Vakalopoulos as above,

A.Vakalopoulos, p.55-65.


5. K.Dimaras, p.19-30. See also N.Svoronos, p.57-58, and A.Vakalopoulos, p.10-11.


6. Efth. leromonachou. (1985), The Chronicle of Galaxdi, Akritas: Athens. See also K.Sathas (1869), Greece under the Domination of Turks, Historical Studies, Athens, .169, 170, 358, 405, 411, 460, 486, 492, 500. See also . Paparigopoulos volume 6., .539, 610, 648. See also Memoirs by Makriyianni, Kosmadakis: Athens, introduction. See also D.Stamelos, (1986), Dorida during the Turkish Domination, Glaros, Athens.


7. G.Spyridaki - S.Peristeri (1968), Greek Folk Songs, Athens Academy, .6, p.205.


These terms are used in Northern Greece: Macedonia, Thrace, in the Peloponese area, in Sterea Greece, Thessalia and Epirus.


On the Greek island of Karpathos the term used for the leader is "KAVOS\'.  On the Island of Crete, the first dancer is called "BROS­MERIA".


In traditional folk songs the first dancer is also called: "PROTOSYRTIS" and "PROTOKAN-GELEFTIS".


8. Panagiotopoulou Anna 1992, The Choreology Phenomenon of the 7orida Counfy. Choreogenesis and choreography of the Neo­\'-lellenic dance. Doctorial Dissertation, University of Athens, page 25-39.


9. Concerning the facts mentioned in this paper in regard to the lance phenomenon see . Panayiotopoulou, .41-451.


10. We present the following fragments of interview reports selectively:

`If we don\'t have fun these days with people we are related to...

when are we going to expect it? One dances with one\'s companions, with one\'s family, relations, friends". See Panayiotopoulou nna, as above, p.261.


11. "If you who are his host, don;ttake him to the dance….” as above,

p.266 or "we danced with those we had regard for", as above, p.267.


12. " liked to go in public with my family. In the dance you understand

which families have principales”, as above p.249.


13. " like to dance with my family. There, in public, you take pride in your effort and you are happy ... if you have all your children dancing lovingly togethe\'", as above, p.265.


14. “In times like this, relations that were in bad terms may make it up",

as above p.271.


15. "1 liked to dance with those that I danced well with”as above,



16."If don\'t honour him up there in the dance, the one respect, if I  don\'t hold him to dance, ... then where else should honour him?" as above, p.272.


17. "If the second one doesn\'t know how to hold you, he obstructs you", as above, p.276.


18. "When the other (first) is dancing, it\'s a chance to show him how much you appreciate him", as above, p.273.


19. " I do lot of tricks (sudden dance movements) to the second, to keep him alert" as above, p.279.


20. Of the Anonymous Greek (1971), Greek Prefecture, of Anaximandros, Athens, p.5.