The Ultimate Greek Dance…

greekdanceZeibekiko is THE Ultimate Greek dance. Out of the 50+ various styles of Greek Dances (Rebetiko, Tsifteteli, Sirtaki, Kalamatiano, etc) the Zeibekiko intrigues me the most. But what is it about this legendary dance that mesmerizes both the onlookers and the dancer?

Lead Guitarist = Zeibekiko?!

I like to look at it from lead guitarist’s point of view! When a guitarist steps up on stage and lets rip a killer solo it’s just him vs the onlookers. It is up to the guitarist to entertain the crowd with an improvised sweet piece of music that really comes from his soul, just like the Zeibekiko.

What is a Zeibekiko

For those who don’t know, the Zeibekiko consists of a single dancer where he or she will dance in an “arena” created by friends on their knees in a circle, clapping to the rhythm, while the performer literally tells a story with the moves he/she displays. That’s the beauty of the dance. Zeibekika songs are not (usually) corny pop songs released to cash in a few easy bucks, but rather stories of everyday emotions that human beings encounter. Joyful feelings about friendship and love interests, as well as heartbreaks and hardships are common themes explored in the lyrics of most of the songs and it is for these reasons that many people associate themselves with any Zeibikiko song at any given time. The emotional affiliations to the song are further enhanced by the level of immersion the dancer will show with his moves!

There is no correct way to dance a Zeibekiko just as long as you stay within the underlying general rhythm (9/4 or else 9/8 ,broken down as 1/8 + 1/16 + 1/16 + 1/8 + 1/8 + 1/8 + 1/16 + 1/16 + 1/8 + 1/8 + 1/8)! That’s a lot easier to understand when you actually hear a Zeibekiko song. As I have mentioned earlier its all about improvisation, and if you have ever had the honour to have witnessed one such dance it is easy to mistake the performer as drunken punter in a club… Well that’s not far from the truth as many performers need a ‘little’ bit of drink to muster the courage to dance and be the center of attention from friends and other random club goers alike.

History of the dance

The dance itself originated from the Zeybek warriors in Anatolia and partially introduced in Greece in 1923 following the peace ‘Treaty of Lausanne’ which allowed the merging of the East Thracians and Anatolia populations. As a consequence the dance became naturalized in Greece and re-introduced in Turkey as a Greek Dance. Markos Vamvakaris (Rebetiko composer and singer) from the island of Syros, later played an integral part in the role of shaping and popularising this musical and dance genre.

‘To Zeibekiko Tis Evdokias’

The most popular Zeibekiko song is a masterpiece composed by Manos Loizou. It is an instrumental (non lyrical) piece of brilliance that promotes a plethora of unique self-induced emotions. ‘To Zeibekiko Tis Evdokias’ is interpreted differently amongst many people and holds a dear place in my heart. It was the highlight of both my sister’s and brother’s wedding, reminding me of the happiness and joy we all shared clapping as our loved ones took on the center stage and mesmerized us with the ‘story’ they all told on the dance floor.

Manos Loizou’s ‘To Zeibekiko tis Evdokias’ danced by many

Future of Zeibekika!?!?

  • im starting to worry about this ‘future’ when Irish Greek dancing has shaken up the UK’s (and the world’s) idea of greek dancing :p

  • Aristia

    hahaha oh c’mon they r funny :p at least they are showing some kind of greekness worldwide lol

  • check the latest post Artistia… πŸ™‚ theres two acts!!!

  • Aristia

    ah yeah hahah I posted that video too. thanks for the reminder i was trying to forget about the other guy lol

    • why!? he was absolutely awesome!!

  • Aristia

    Are we talking about the same guy? Andy Demetriou? the one that would not leave the stage and was dancing (if u wanna call it dancing) as if he was a tree? :p

    • yes!!! the crowd loved him!! and he loved them, now back to the topic.. what u think of this article?

      • Aristia

        Well I love zeimbekiko and it’s good that you ‘ve given information about it. These are things I had no idea about rly! like where it originated and so on. One thing is for sure zeibekiko is all about expressing what’s in your soul as u said! Zeibekiko can magnetise you if it is danced by a person that actually gives his soul. πŸ˜‰

  • peter

    id like to here from everyone whats there favorite zeibekiko and why?

    • Aristia

      i would say zeibeikiko tis evdokias too! no particular reason it’s just the song is perfect, it drives you into it! πŸ˜‰

  • im pretty sure that this dance cannot be done unless you are under the influence of alcohol, as i have tried to do it being sober and had to pretty much act drunk to make it look anywhere close to presentable.

    • Aristia

      hahaha that’s a good point and a gd advice too for someone that attempts to dance zeibekiko. dont get on stage if u r not drunk, period :p

  • peter

    my sister has the best method of teaching the zeibekiko dance to people. pretend you lost your “contact lens”. the rest just follows πŸ˜›

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