Kalamatianos is extremely “joyful and festive” a Southeast European dance style. This “folk” dance is said to have originated from Greece, and is extremely popular in Cyprus. Apparently, this dance is also extremely popular around the world, and is performed mainly during social functions. Furthermore, this dance is basically performed around a circle following the anti-clockwise direction. In addition, this dance also includes a classical “Kalamatiano” song originating from Western Macedonia.
a. History/origin of the Kalamatianos:
According to the cultural history of Greece, in the city-state of Sparta there existed a dance style known as “ὅρμος hormos”. This dance style was apparently discussed in depth by Xenophon (Greek philosopher). According to this renowned philosopher, this dance involved young men and women dancing energetically in an open circle. Furthermore, this dance during the 19th century evolved further and was called “Syrtos O Peloponisios”. In addition, this dance then soon gained popularity in a town in South Greece known as Kalamata, and was thereby renamed as “Kalamatianos”.
b. Costumes used in the Kalamatianos:
No information regarding the costumes used in this dance style is available.
c. Music involved in the Kalamatianos:
The music used in this dance style is accompanied by a traditional “Kalamatianos” song, and the lyrics used are as follows:
Μήλο μου κόκκινο, ρόιδο βαμμένο (×2)
Γιατί με μάρανες το πικραμένο 1
Παένω κ’ έρχομαι μα δεν σε βρίσκω (×2)
Βρίσκω την πόρτα σου μανταλομένη 1
Τα παραθυρούδια σου φεγγοβολούνε (×2)
Ρωτάω την πόρτα σου, που πάει η κυρά σου; 1
Κυρά μ’ δεν είναι ‘δώ, πάησε στην βρύση (×2)
Πάησε να βρει νερό και να γεμίσει 1
My red apple, my scarlet pomegranate,
why have you made me wilted and bitter?
I come and go, but cannot find you
I try your door, and it’s always locked.
Your windows are always lighted
I ask your door, “Where is your lady?”
“My lady is not here, she is at the wellspring
She’s gone to bring water”.
d. Training availability and technique involved in the Kalamatianos:
In terms of technique, this dance involves the use of anti-clockwise i.e. forward steps followed by two steps clockwise i.e. backward. Furthermore, the performer may also use steps that resemble jumps or squats. As for training centers/schools, there are none available around the world since this “folk” dance is performed only in Greece.