Dancing is the rhythmic movement of one or more persons accompanied by music and song. Dance is one of the most ancient means of expression and chronologically came after signing. In fact, modern Greek dances incorporate rhythms and musical motifs of ancient Greece.
There is a great variety of traditional dances in Greece. Each region or village in Greece has its own dances, with specific movements, which differ even from one village to another. This difference in the dances is attributed to factors such as climate, the lifestyle of the residents, life in the past… Due to their large variety, traditional Greek dances are divided into different categories based on the subject, namely religious, war-like, erotic; based on the shape, namely cyclical or facing; based on gender, namely male, female and mixed; and on the location, namely national and local.
The best known categories of dance according to the geographical boundaries of our country are dances from the Peloponnese, Epirus, Thrace, the islands, Crete, Macedonia, Pontus, etc. There are also dances, from northern Greece for example, which are influenced and have influenced dances of neighboring Balkan countries and are danced with local variations across the Balkans. In other cases, such as small islands, the interaction has its origins either in the occupying power of each era, i.e. Venetians, Franks, Turkish occupation. In Arcadia, the best known traditional dances are the Syrtos-Kalamatianos, the Tsamikos and the Tsakonikos.
The “TEGEA” Folk Dance Group was founded in 1994 as the “Regional Branch of the Lyceum of Greek Women of Tripoli”, and in 1997 it became independent under the name “TEGEA” Folk Dance Group, and it is a non-profit organisation.
The purpose of the Group is to teach folk dances and organise cultural events, with the aim of promoting and disseminating our folk tradition beyond the boundaries of Arcadia. Its members are children and adults from all the villages of Tegea and Tripoli. The “TEGEA” Folk Dance Group is mainly funded by the Michael N. Stassinopoulos –VIOHALCO (MSVF) Public Benefit Foundation and by contributions of members, donations and private persons.
The Association is run by a 7-member Board, which is elected every four years.
In the last elections of 22 January 2018, the following board was elected:
When the Association was founded, Kyriaki Psychogiou served as President, and the dance teachers were Charikleia Politi and Katerina Melegou until October 2005. Thereafter, Pagona Tsiosi and Evgenia Georgelou served as Presidents, and the dance teachers were Vassilis and Katerina Panagopoulou. In September 2008, Xenophon Angelakos became President and the dance instructor was Georgios Liaros. Mr. Vassilis Karras taught folk songs until 2010.
Every year, the Group organises a dance show, with a different name and subject, which is open to the general public. In this show, all the dancers of the Group take part, whether young students, teenagers or adults. The dancers are always accompanied by well-known traditional groups from all over Greece
Throughout the year, the “TEGEA” Folk Dance Group takes part in cultural events, seminars, dance Festivals, musical competitions and traditional celebrations in Arcadia, Greece and abroad. Some of their participations include the Odeon of Herodes in Strasbourg, France, representing Greece at the Eurorando 2001 cultural events at the Dora Stratou theatre, the “Armata” cultural event in Spetses in 2002 and 2008, the folk dance festival in Skala Kefallonia, in Monemvasia, in Mytilene, in Skopelos, etc. In 2017 the Group appeared on the television show “The salt of the Earth” on the ERT-1 Channel.
The members of the Dance Group annually plan a trip to various parts of Greece for a few days, with the goal of getting to know the customs, traditions, songs and dances of each place.
For example, in 2018 they took part in:
Clothing is anything we use to cover our body, whereas costume includes all clothing, mainly exterior items. The form of the costume results from the practical and aesthetic needs of the specific group of people that use it. A costume is, like all expressions of traditional folk creation, a practical item, and as such it […]