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Story Telling And Description:
The name refers to a general dance category, where dancers are placed opposite (karşı in Turkish) to each other. Traditionally, such dances are called “karsilamas”. Men’s dances are powerful and joyful and are characterized by grandiosity and virtuosity. Most popular are antikrystoi or karsilamaes. Antikrystoi are dance suites and are one of the most distinctive dances of the Cypriot dance repertoire. Both male and female versions consist of five sections or movements which take their names as: first, second, third, fourth and balos (μπάλος). The male versions are powerful and allow dancers to demonstrate their skills both in dancing as well as singing. Commonly, they are danced by two men placed provocatively opposite each other, since the dance was a competition between the two in terms of valiance, gallantry, and skills. During the third part, to showcase their singing skills as well, the dancers sing themed couplet songs, known as “tsiattismata”.
Similar to male antikrystoi, female antikrystoi were danced by two women, standing opposite each other [1]. During both the first and second parts of the dance, the dancers move their hands in such a way that imitates sewing. In the third part, each woman takes a scarf folded diagonally by its edges and moves it according to the rhythm in a graceful manner, while she dances. The scarf is supposed to be the one that she sewed during the previous two parts. This dance, therefore, is also called Dance of the Scarf. The third female antikrystos can also be a dance of couples, which newlyweds danced the night before the wedding in honor of their guests. While the couple was dancing, musicians were singing blessing, applauding, and admonitory songs. Meanwhile, the banqueters were rewarding the couple by leaving money into a plate especially placed for that purpose, or by attaching banknotes onto the costume of the groom or the bride. Female antikrystoi are characterized by modesty and restrained movements. A distinctive feature of the first dance is the sound of parallel fifths with the A and E tones of the tuned violin, which follows after the sound of the relative music scale referred to by experienced violinists as “variatsiona”.

Region: Cyprus


Motion Capture System: Phasespace Impulse X2 (8 cameras)

Date of Capturing: 07-08-2012

Music Playing: 3os Antrikos Kartsilamas

Music: 1st in 9/8 (5/8-4/8), 2nd in 7/8, 3rd in 2/4, 4th in 9/8 (3/4 and 3/8), and 5th in 3/4 (female Balos).


[1] Γεώργιος Αβέρωφ. Τα δημοτικά τραγούδια και οι λαϊκοί χοροί της Κύπρου. Λευκωσία, Πολιτιστικό Ιδρυμα Τραπζης Κύπρου, 1989

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Information taken from: Parthenon dance academy