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General / Revival



Ancient Greek dance revival
An introduction by Alkis Raftis


Dora Stratou Dance Theater is the official institution for all forms of Greek dance: traditional, rebetiko, Ancient, Byzantine.

The Theater has gathered the full range of material on these forms, it has trained dancers, teachers and researchers and conducts classes, performances, workshops, lectures, publications etc.

We do not know how Greeks were dancing thousands or even a hundred years ago, but we can create choreographies inspired by the values, norms and aesthetics of Ancient Greece. In recreating any ancient dance unbridled inspiration can be very misleading, it has to be fed by thorough study of historical material.

The revival of Ancient Greek dance draws information and inspiration from the following sources:

1. Texts on dance by ancient Greek writers

2. Illustrations on vases as well as sculptures of dancers in Ancient Greece.

3. Choreographies for the choral parts of performances of Ancient Greek drama: tragedies and comedies.

4. Choreographies by Isadora Duncan and her followers

5. Choreographies of Ruby Ginner and her followers (called Classical Greek Dance in the U.K.)

6. Greek traditional dances (preserved untampered by the Dora Stratou Dance Theater Company).

7. Various attempts to revive Ancient Greek dancing during the 20th century.

8. Ancient dances of other cultures.

     I have collected the complete corpus on items 1, 2, 4 and 6 of the above, to be found at my research portal

     We have published the book Orchesis. Texts on ancient Greek dance. Accompanied by a CD-ROM, which I consider a primer for anyone interested in the subject, together with Lillian B. Lawler's The dance in Ancient Greece, which we have translated to Greek.


Alkis Raftis







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