Traditional Dance in Urban Settings

‘Snapshots’ of Greek dance traditions in Athens

Authored by: Maria I. Koutsouba

The Routledge Companion to Dance Studies

Print publication date:  November  2019
Online publication date:  October  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138234581
eBook ISBN: 9781315306551
Adobe ISBN:


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Greek traditional dance in southern European urban settings such as Athens is going through a boom period. Different ‘snapshots’ of Greek traditional dance illustrate where dance is practiced formally and informally as this chapter explores questions such as the following: How is traditional dance incorporated within this situation? What is distinct in the ‘snapshots’ that makes Greek traditional dance fit comfortably in such contemporary settings? Do the dynamics of traditional Greek dance regarding interaction and integration of the multifaceted and complex layers of Greek identity, society, and culture emerge as significant, especially in offering a privileged space to the people? Starting from an anthropological perspective of dance, this chapter provides the opportunity to examine common phenomena, and the ‘snapshots’ emerge as stories from the researcher’s eye through the lens of dance’s multiple literacies. Ethnographic dance research at home reveals specifically new ways of using traditional dance in which the forms are constantly revitalized. This research seems to be of interest considering the wider sociopolitical and economic context of Greece since it is one of several countries that have faced a severe global socioeconomic crisis since 2008 that continues to impact its people in 2019.

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