AI GEORGIS- GREECE

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AI GEORGIS DANCE, GREECE

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Named after a mythological character “Arcas” is a Southeastern European dance style known as Ai Georgis. This “traditional” dance is said to have originated from a village called “Nestani” located in Greece. Furthermore, this dance is mainly performed during festive occasions such as during St George’s feast celebrated usually after Easter Sunday. In addition, this dance includes a song comprising of a 7/8 and 2/4 rhythm whose lyric basically tells a tale of how St George protected the villagers from the cruelty meted out by Ottoman dynasty and Hagia Sophia i.e. a Greek Orthodox Christian Patriarchal Basilica (church).

A. History/origin of the Ai Georgis:

According to the Greek cultural history, this dance was created for a song which basically tells a story about how St George protected the villagers belonging to a village called Nestani in the country from the clutches of the Ottoman dynasty and Hagia Sophia. Additionally, this dance was named after a Greek mythological character known as “Arcas”.

B. Costumes used in the Ai Georgis:

The costumes worn by the female performers include a colourful long dress, an overcoat, pair of shoes, and a headgear. On the other hand, the costumes worn by the males will include a white shirt, a black trouser, a red cloth tied around the waist, a black overcoat, a pair of shoes, and a hat.

C. Music involved in the Ai Georgis:

The musical instruments mainly used in this dance style include a stringed Greek instrument such as Byzantine lyras and percussion instruments such as the Tambourine (i.e. Defi).

D. Training availability and the technique involved in the Ai Georgis:

In terms of technique, initially it is the male performers that lead the female counterparts into the floor. Furthermore, the male performer then holds a shepherd crook, which basically comprises of leaves and wildflower. In addition, the performer’s hand which holds the crook is bent at the elbow while performing. As for training centers/schools, there are none available around the world since this “traditional” dance is mainly performed in Greece.

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