Pyrgos House – Kythira Greece

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(English) The Gaïtanaki

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This weekend it is carnival time in Greece. On Kythira they will dance the traditional Gaïtanaki – the dance with the silk ribbons (γαϊτάνη = ribbon). As usual, The Potamos Fanfare will perform as well. To dance the gaïtanaki, you need thirteen people. One person stands in the centre, holding a pole with twelve ribbons – each of a different colour. The other twelve dancers form six pairs, in a circle around the pole. Each dancer holds a ribbon and dances in the opposite direction to their partner. The dancers pass each other alternately on the left and then on the right. Through these moves, the ribbons make a beautifully colourful pattern around the pole, drawing the dancers into the centre. When they are close to the pole, they dance back in the opposite direction. The ribbons unravel and the dance comes to an end. See the dancers in Chora on Saturday (4 pm) or in Potamos on Sunday, after the carnival procession that starts at 1 pm.

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