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Ongoing / Dora Stratou Theater



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Dora Stratou Theater



Ancient Greek Orchesis Study Group

The Study Group was founded by Alkis Raftis in 1992 after the 5th World Congress on Dance Research "Dance and Ancient Greece", Athens, 4-8 September 1991
Other founding members were: Marie-Hélène Delavaud-Roux, Anna Lazou, Frederick Naerebout, Germaine Prudhommeau.
In the course of time dozens of dancers, actors, researchers and others have joined.

Activities: performances, classes, workshops, lectures, books. 

Members meet every Thursday at 19:30 in the Dora Stratou building at Scholiou 8, Plaka 10558 Athens.

Information:   tel. +30 210 324 4395    +30 210 921 2866   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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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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Syllabus of Ancient Greek dance Level 1




Dance in Ancient Greece                                  5                        

History of Ancient Greek dance revival           2

Ancient Greek theater                                       3

Ancient Greek music                                        2

Prosody and musical rhythms                           2

Costume, accessories, hairstyles                       2

Singing                                                              2

Other                                                                 2






subtotal          20 hours

Traditional Greek dance practice            10





subtotal          10 hours

Learning choreographies

Choreographer 1                                         25

Choreographer 2                                         25

Choreographer 3                                         25

Other choreographers                                  25




subtotal         100 hours

Performance                                             20




subtotal           20 hours



Total               150 hours






1. Hours on each of the above subjects can vary (no more than +/- 50%) but hours of each category (subtotals) cannot.

2. 150 hours are required to obtain the International Certification of Dance Studies.

3. At 4 hours a week Level 1 is completed within a year, after which students can continue for Level 2.

4. For each theoretical subject an outline will be handed to students comprising content of lectures and further reading.

5.  Recommended reading:

Ancient Greek dance revival

Dance in Ancient Greece pandect

Ancient Greek dance sculpture

Dora Stratou Dance Theater  




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Ancient Greek dance study and revival


Events in Athens:

1.  Conference on Ancient Dances     18-19 December 2017

2.  World Congresss on Dance Research      4-8 July 2018

3.  Summer workshop in Ancient Greek dance     9-13 July 2018      

4.  Anapali Festival       28-29 July 2018

5.  Emmelia Festival     17 and 24 September 2018

6.  Ancient Orchesis Study Group meetings     every Thursday at 19:30

7.  Caryatids ancient Greek dance company




Dance in Ancient Greece pandect

Ancient Greek dance sculpture

Ancient Greek dance revival

Ancient Greek Dance Facebook page

Information: Greek Dances Theatre "Dora Stratou", This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and +30 210 324 4395



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Ancient Greek dance


      The national Dora Stratou Dance Theater, the living museum of Greek dance, offers a workshop on various approaches to Ancient Greek dance study and revival, in English.

Dates:  Monday through Friday, 09-13 July 2018


-  Dance classes 4 hours a day. Choreographies already presented on stage, as well as new approaches, including techniques as Isadora Duncan, Ruby Ginner, choral parts of Ancient Greek drama, contributions from traditional dances and other forms of dance. Emphasis on acquiring a movement vocabulary to be used in creating new choreographies.

-  Lecture-demonstrations by researchers on Dance History. Comparisons with ancient dance forms of other cultures.
-  Class on costumes, accessories and headdresses

-  Attendance of Dora Stratou Dance Theatre performances, eventually also performances of Ancient Greek drama.

-  Visits to archaeological museums focusing on exhibits portraying dance.

-  Visit to the Theatre’s wardrobe of 2,000 authentic village-made costumes, complete with folk jewelry and accessories.

Instructors: Senior members of the Dora Stratou Theatre, as well as guest choreographers.

Fee: 150 euros (120 euros for CID members)   Special prices for travel agencies

    Dance teachers, dancers and researchers have an opportunity to experience the daily life of a dance theatre unique in the world, and to benefit from the wealth of its resources. Students of Classical Greece will discover a physical approach to dance which constitutes a central part of Greek culture.

Send email and visit our websites:




The living museum of Greek dance, since 1953

A public-benefit institution subsidized by the

Ministry of Culture and the National Tourism Organization

under the patronage of the City of Athens

-  Daily performances in its 860-seat garden theatre, located on Philopappou Hill, opposite the Acropolis

-  A company of 75 dancers, musicians and folk singers

-  A collection of over 2,000 village-made costumes, with jewelry and other works of folk art worn on stage.

-  School providing courses, lectures and workshops on Greek dance, rebetiko dances, dance therapy, folk embroidery. Teacher training program.

-  Programs for elementary schools.

-  Field research programs in Dance Ethnography, Dance History, Dance Sociology.

-  Study group, classes and workshops on Ancient Greek dance.

-  Archives of dance books, articles, field recordings, photographs, videos and films.

-  Publications: over 40 LP records, 15 CDs, 15 cassettes, 7 videocassettes, 30 books on dance in Greek, English and other languages, 8 CD-ROMs, 5 DVDs.

-  Costume copies and accessories made for folk dance ensembles.

-  Organizer of annual events: World Congress on Dance Research, Anapali Festival, Emmelia Festival.

-  Operation of the Greek Dance Pandect portal: and various websites.

-  Close cooperation with the International Dance Council CID, the UNESCO official summit organization for all forms of dance in all countries of the world:

Office building: Scholiou 8, Plaka, GR-10558 Athens

Tel. +30 210 324 4395, +30 210 324 6188, fax +30 210 324 6921

Theater and school: Philopappou Hill, +30 210 921 2866

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank" class="m_5339950164337783883moz-txt-link-abbreviated" style="color: #1155cc;">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Open classes in Ancient Greek dance



    Every Thursday 19:30 - 21:30 in Plaka, Scholiou Street 8 (off Adrianou 122), Athens. Classes are free of charge.

    For dancers, choreographers, actors, teachers and others, all ages. Theory and practice of dance, elements of metrics, Ancient Greek drama, masks, song. Learning choreographies in view of performances. Teacher training – graduates can become teachers of Ancient Greek dance.


    Students obtain the International Certification after 150 hours, issued by the International Dance Council CID UNESCO, the official world-wide organization for dance.

      Tel.  +30 210 324 4395           This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    

    Students can join the Ancient Greek Orchesis Study Group and follow Greek traditional dance classes at the School of the National Dora Stratou Dance Theater.

    The Study Group operates since 1992 and has produced numerous performances, has published scientific books and articles, has organized workshops, lectures, classes, an international congress etc. Scientific faculty includes university professors with publications such as: Alkis Raftis, Anna Lazou, Marie-Hélène Delavaux-Roux, Frederick Naerebout, Tyler Jo Smith, Michel Briand, Agatha Ulanovska, Ichiko Tanaka.  

    Artistic faculty includes specialized choreographers approaching Ancient Greek Dance revival with methods such as: Isadora Duncan, Ruby Ginner, Margaret Morris etc. Coperation with the national school of dance of Italy Accademia Nazionale di Danza, the University of Warsaw and other high-level institutions.

    This is the first group initiative for Greek Dance and still the only one in the world. Until now choreographies were limited to the choral parts of Greek drama. Our aim is to broaden it and expand it internationally in order to make Ancient Greek Dance one of the major currents in choreography.

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