(Συρτός,Sirto,Syrto,Sirtos) is the name of a group of Greek folk dances
of ancient origin. The syrto is the most popular dance throughout Greece, and is danced by Greek-Americans at all festive gatherings. Syrto and kalamatianos
use the same dance steps, but the syrto is in 3/4 time and the kalamatiano is in 7/8 time. Sirto is a couples dance from the Pirin
region in Bulgaria.Sirtos are one of the most liked folk dances and music in Cyprus. Sirto comes from the Greek Syrtos. However, it is easy to also observe the Turkish motives in the ones used in Cyprus. Even Ottoman Sultans liked very much this Greek music form and composed songs in that form. The most popular non-anonymous example is the Hicaz Sirto of 32nd Ottoman Sultan Abdülâziz
, which is known in North Cyprus among Turkish Cypriots as Aziziye Sirto. Similarly it is known (played and danced) in the South Cyprus among Greek Cypriots as Aziziyes Syrtos(Αζιζιές Συρτός). This is quite normal taking into consideration that the two communities lived together for a very long time in Cyprus history. In some parts of sirtos pairs of dancers hold a handkerchief from its two sides as in karsilamas
. When one of the dancers starts making skillful movements the other stops dancing and keeps holding the handkerchief firmly so that his friend will not fall down. Seherli Sirtosu, Aziziye Sirto, Iskele Sirtosu, Azize, Kina Sirtosu, etc, are the most popular sirtos...This folk dance, performed by men and women in couples in a circle, is very popular in social gatherings, weddings and religious festivals. It symbolizes the harmony between male and female roles in the Cypriot society. The music is generally played with a lyre(Kemenche
) (or violin), lute
Each region, particularly the islands, have their own version of the dance. Its common denominator is a chain of dancers
, arms connected sidewise, follows the leader, who may lead intricate patterns while using a simple basic step
Sometimes the leader is connected to the second in line via a scarf or handkerchief. In other variants all dancers are connected via handkerchiefs.
Rennell Rodd (1892) suggests that the dance is an imitation of the action of drawing in the seine net. It is considered the most ancient form of dance. C. T. Dimaras desribes an insription from the times of Caligula, which implied that already at these times Syrtos was considered an ancient dance of local tradition.
Politiko Syrto is from the area of Konstantinoupolis (or Constantinople--now Istanbul
) in Asia Minor. Constantinople was referred to as "the city" (or "POLI") because of its importance as a seat of culture and trade in the civilized world. Syrto (from the Greek word "syro" meaning to pull or, more accurately, to lead) is characterized by its slow-quick-quick rhythm within its 4/4 meter.
Syrtos from Arcadia, Peloponnisos - This song is a Pan-Hellenic Syrtos. The older, two part Syrtos Botaitikos from Botia (Palaiopyrgos) can also be done to this music. This older form of the dance that I learned from my great uncle, Thodoris Pappayiorgas, features men and women in two separate lines, the men behind the women. They merge into one line of mixed men and women and then back to the two lines, using the ancient chain hold that can be seen on ancient Greek vase paintings. The song tells of a young man meeting an old man and asking, "Where are the greens of the meadow, the water from the well?"
is a Greek dance
that is danced in the following regions: Thessaly
and central Greece
. The name of the dance comes from the cut in tune/music. It is a faster syrto
(Syrtos,Sirto,Sirtos) sta dio style fun dance. When the music stops the dancers yell "Hey". When the music stops you also can put your arms up, down, or clap. It can also be danced going backwards and fowards or with partners. "Koftos" in Greek means to cut and the music cuts periodically. This is how the name came about.
Also known as Omali
, in the Kerasounta/Giresun
region, this dance is called Syrto, Karshilidiko Omal, Lakhana (after the name of the song, which means cabbage), Kerasountaiko or Kotsikton Omal. It is a 9/8 rhythm and bears no resemblance to what we usually call Syrto, which is usually either a 7/8 (kalamatiano) or 8/8 rhythm. In this case, the name most likely refers to the style, what we call dragging dances.
This is a dance of the Muslim Pomaks
of the Balkans.The first part is identical to the Greek Kalamatianos
.Time 7/8, slow quick quick (SQQ), 3 + 2 + 2
Kritiko Syrto means Syrto from Crete
. There are many variations to the dance; every village does it slightly differently. The choreography we use for performances has been developed for a specific piece of Cretan music
.The movements of the Cretan Syrtos are calm, sober, and gentle. They constitute the respite before the battle, the resting of the soul, and calming
of thoughts. The Syrtos is danced in a manner reminiscent of a religious ceremony that expresses the mystical aspects of life and death, passion and grief of the Cretan spirit.
Syrtos Dance From Rethymno
The popular Syrtos Haniotikos dance is danced to this song from the island of Crete. "The black clothes (of mourning) are as heavy as iron..."A religious dance where the dancer expresses himself with figures mostly on the ground rather than on the air. The region of Kissamos in Chania
is considered by musicians and dancers as the source of the dance. We observe at the field researches that syrtos (as well as all Cretan dances) presents many variations from province to province and of course from prefecture to prefecture in Crete, a fact that brings out the richness of the music and dance tradition of Crete, but also the intense local expression of Cretans in all the aspects of their lives. We have recorded this dance at Kastelli of Kissamos
Syrtos Tsirighetikos This dance originated in the city of Chania in western Crete and is thus known on Crete as Haniotikos.
This dance is from the island of Kefallinia in the Ionian Sea. Although most of the Greek islands originally were under the control of the Ottoman Turks, Kefallinia was ruled by the Venetians for several centuries. Thus this dance has a springy, almost Italian quality.
This dance is from a village in Macedonia called Pyleas. This is another dance Anna Efstathiou taught in February 1983. We call one of the variations "arm aloft," as dancers raise their arms rhythmically over their heads and back down again.
Syrtos Dance From Bornova (Bournovalio Sirto)
Ti Tha Yino Ego Me Sena/Bournovalio Syrtos
What am I to do with you Panayioti? You’ve stolen my heart and youth. For three years now you’ve enslaved me and you’ve
tormented me, but I’ve got your game now, you liar, and know that
you’ve no feelings for me. You come to my neighborhood to chat with me, and you come and go in my house and laugh behind everyone’s back.
But you must know that my mother will not be ashamed to tell you that you’re a liar and a scoundrel. You better leave before she sees you, and face it, she’ll kick you out, Panayioti. Then she’ll marry me off to someone else, and I’ll be freed from you Panayioti.
Syrtos Dance From Silivri(Silibrianos Sirtos)
Syrtos Pedina Horia
Syrtos Ikoniou(Syrtos Dance From Konya)
A syrtos dance from Lesbos
called Γεραγότικος (Geragotikos), also in Hijaz.
Syrtos Dance From Karaburun(Syrtos Karambourviotikos)
A couple's dance with steps and style characteristic of island dances, this Syrtos is from the island of Chios in Greece, near the Turkish coast.
Syrtos Dance from Symi
Syrtos Dance from Kalymnos
Syrtos Dance from Paros
Syrtos Dance from Rhodes
Syrtos Dance from Andros
Syrtos Dance from Skiros
Syrtos Dance from Skopelos
Syrtos Dance from Kithnos(Syrtos Kithnou)