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General / Introductory




    This website documents attempts during modern times to create choreographies portraying or simply evoking Ancient Greek dance. It complements other websites in the Orchesis Portal such as:
Ancient Greek Dance
Dance in ancient Greek sculpture 
Isadora Duncan
Vassos Kanellos

  Composing a choreography related to a very distant period presents a challenge. Ancient cultures, whether in Greece, Egypt, Asia or the Americas, have left scarce traces of their dances. Not only movement vocabulary is lacking but also any vague idea of what constituted a choreography, or even the general notions associated with dance. Indications concerning ancient music are equally scarce. Thus the choreographer (same as the music composer, the costume designer and others) enjoys a wide range of freedom in letting his imagination fill the vacuum, his only concern being to abide by modern conceptions on what constituted dance in the respective period.


    Compared to other ancient cultures, Greeks have left a much richer corpus of information regarding dancing. They were the only civilization to take dance very seriously, devoting treatises and other scholarly works to it, not simply describing dance but analyzing it and pondering on its significance. Though most texts devoted to dance have disappeared, we have a great number of references in various texts as well as many hundreds of images as vase paintings, reliefs, statuettes and mosaics.


    We will gather all relevant material, presenting it in four categories:
1.  Videos of performances, listed under the name of the choreographer.
2.  Texts on how to approach the subject of creating a choreography
3.  Works of art (paintings, drawings, sculptures, engravings)
4.  Announcements of performances, workshops, classes, lectures etc.


    Our goal is to present a comprehensive reference source, a wealth of material in one place to assist choreographers, dance teachers, dancers and scholars, as well as visual artists. The revival of Ancient Greek Dance has flourished during various periods of the last three hundred years. Nowadays we see it mostly as the movement of the chorus in performances of Greek drama, or in - largely disappointing - films based on Greek history. Our hope is to see it bloom again, in other words to revive its revival.



Alkis Raftis







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