GAITANAKI DANCE- GREECE

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GAITANAKI DANCE, GREECE

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Performed mainly in a “circle” is a Southeast European dance form known as Gaitanaki Dance. This “traditional” dance is said to have originated from a region called Thessaly located in Greece. Furthermore, this dance is performed using a “wooden” pole comprising of about twelve ribbons. In addition, this dance is performed in a group of thirteen, and consists of both males as well as females.

A. History/origin of the Gaitanaki Dance:

According to the cultural history of Greece, this dance was created to be performed mainly during a celebratory function such as the carnival. Furthermore, this dance involves the use of twelve wooden poles each consisting of coloured ribbons. Now as per Greek tradition these twelve ribbons tied around the poles is symbolic, and basically represents each of the twelve months that form a year.

B. Costumes used in the Gaitanaki Dance:

The costumes used in this dance vary according to the gender as follows:

1. For males:

The attire worn includes a white full sleeve shirt, a black overcoat, a black trouser, a pair of shoes, and a cap.

2. For females:

The attire worn includes a colourful long dress that includes a skirt, an apron, a headgear, and pair of shoes.

C. Music involved in the Gaitanaki:

The musical instruments mainly involved in this dance style include a mixture of stringed instruments i.e. chordophones, wind instruments i.e. aerophones and drum instruments i.e. membranophones.

D. Training availability and technique involved in the Gaitanaki:

In terms of technique, one performer holds a wooden pole to which twelve ribbons are attached. Furthermore, twelve performers within the group then hold the ribbon move around each other on the floor to the rhythm of the accompanying music. 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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