Fuck! I broke my jug. – by morfeas9

Continuing on Cypriot traditional dances, this is a brief description of the main styles that exist. It is of great interest to get to know better the reason behind the creation of each routine, as it had alot to do with a society’s rituals and people’s daily lives.


Men’s face-to-face dances: They used to be performed by two men placed competitively opposite each other. ¨Kartji¨ means opposite. This is where they get their original name.In reality, the dance was a rivalry between the two dancers. It was a contest of bravery, youthful vigor and artistic merit. The men’s face-to-face dances are very lively. In the ¨kartjilamas¨ style, known also as ¨tchiatisma¨ – which means improvised rhyming – the dancers get the opportunity to display both their dancing and singing skills. Since 1960 these dances have been performed synchronously by a group of dancers.go to fill their clay jugs with water.

Women’s face-to-face dances: The young ladies dance while standing opposite to each other. In the 1st and 2nd dance they wave their hands in a way to imply that they are either embroidering or sewing. In the third dance they hold a diagonally folded handkerchief by its two edges, waving it rhythmically and gracefully while dancing. They are supposed to be showing to the spectator the product of their sewing or embroidery, which he witnessed in the two previous dances. This dance is also called the ¨handkerchief dance¨. This third dance is also the one performed by the bride and groom at the wedding reception in honour of their quests.

Solo dances:

Tatchia: Tatchia is a thin sieve used to sift flour. It is a skill dance. A glass or several glasses are placed on the wall of the sieve and the dancer has to dance with it without spilling any of the water in the glasses.

Drepani: This is also a skill dance. The movements represent the harvest.                        

Glasses – Arabies: Like the previously mentioned dances, this is also a men’s skill dance. In the old days it used to be performed with a single glass placed on the dancers head. Nowadays, several glasses are used and their number depends on the dancers skillfulness.

Zeimbekiko – Stamna: The name ¨zeibekiko¨ most probably comes from ¨zeibekies¨ – a tribe of Asia Minor. The mixed dance ¨stamna¨ which means clay water-pot, is performed by men and women. In those days it was unthinkable to have men and women dancing together.In this dance the young girls go to the water fountain to fill their clay jugs. The young men are hidden there waiting in order to see their beloved.The bravest of them all moves forward in order to exchange some words of love with his sweetheart. She, however, is taken by surprise and drops her clay pot, which of course, breaks into pieces. The girl then goes to tell her mother that she ¨had tripped and broken her jug¨. But her mother, who knows better, says: ¨It is not a stumble but a young mans embrace, which caused the breaking of the pot¨.                                

Mandra dance: This one is also exclusively performed by men. It symbolizes the activities in the life of a Cypriot shepherd.Tillirkotissa: A trailing dance, based on the voice of Tillirkotissa. The ¨voices¨ are different melodies, known in the various areas of Cyprus, such as ¨Mesaritissa¨, ¨Karpasitissa¨, ¨Akathkiotissa¨, depending on the area of origin. For instance ¨Mesaritissa¨ comes from the area of Mesaria and so on.

Sousta: It is the Greek word for ¨spring¨. The sousta is a fast rhythmical dance, which was usually performed as the ¨farewell song¨ at wedding receptions or other feasts. 

Credit: http://www.vasilitzia.org.cy



Filed under Could it be art?, Could it be tradition?

5 responses to “Fuck! I broke my jug. – by morfeas9

  1. Μαριλένα

    Oh yeah! Εν ήξερα ότι εν το κυπριακό ζεϊμπέκικο που χορεύκεται στη φάση με τη στάμνα! Τοσες φορές που είδα τη στάμνα και εν το επήρα είδηση..
    Εννα γράψεις και για τα τσιατιστά;

  2. morfeas9

    Enna diksi… analoga me tin empnevsi mu!:P

    Ne ke ego tora to ekatalava… ke malista iparxun polla ellinika tragudia (not traditional ones but kanonika laika songs) ta opia akoluthun to rithmo tu kipriaku zeimpekiku, but we didn’t know oti anikun se tuntin katigoria.

  3. pareta me re morfea me ta “fuck” su!!!is this another beautiful continuation of our posts?!

  4. morfeas9

    Heh! Yeah… especially afieromeno to you and passenger! Kapu enna evro na to ksanavalo:P

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