Modern history is woven on tradition and cultural heritage when a young couple choose a traditional village to marry their love with folk music and dance in a cobbled picturesque setting in the folds of the mountain of the gods.

Time goes back to the origins of the village wedding that’s preceded by the “glenti” of the night before as forever held in the central village square with everybody invited and dancing and clarinets lasting through the night to see the sunrise.

And on the wedding day, as the cobbled winding paths bring the guests to the village church for the ritual of the ceremony, beautiful red cheeked girls in traditional costume strew them with rose petals and dance to the music preceding the bride.

She is beautiful, she is radiant and she comes to her groom towed by the band of her Pontus heritage, the lyre, the drums, the bagpipes, and the distinctive energy of the steps and the shoulder tremors of the Pontiac dance.

A memorable crowning of love with tradition. Today. At the village of filoxeno (hospitable) Old Panteleimonas on mount Olympus, where the gods lived, the air is still crisp and fresh and travelling back into time feels natural as nature itself would have it.

THE GREEK TRADITIONAL DANCE is an expression of human feelings and everyday life. In fact, the Greek word ΧΟΡΟΣ (CHOROS), referred to both dance and song. The English words chorus, chorale, choir, and choreography all come from this same Greek word. The Greeks danced at religious festivals and ceremonies. They danced to ensure fertility; to prepare for war and to celebrate victories. They danced at weddings, to overcome depression and to cure physical illness. Almost every dance has a story to tell and dance was regarded as one of the highest forms of art. Plato agreed with his mentor Socrates that every educated man should know how to dance gracefully and by dance he meant the manly exercises that kept the body strong and supple and ready to do its duty on the battlefield. The Pyrrhic (πυρίχιος), or weapon dance (a form of mock combat) taken from Crete and perfected in Sparta, was the ideal.

The dance, of all the arts, is the one that most influences the soul. Dancing is divine in its nature and is the gift of the gods. Plato

THE PONTUS DANCE. Pontus lies in the region of present day Turkey on the eastern Black Sea into Russia. It is an area inhabited by Greeks from ancient times until the population exchange of 1923. Pontiac music and dance are quite distinctive. Its music and dance is easily recognized by its nervous rhythm, the use of knee bends and unusual shoulder tremors, unique to Pontus. The Pontiac lyre is the most distinctive instrument. Other instruments include the angion (bagpipe) and the zournas. The dances of this area include Omal, Dipat, Tik, Kots, Trygona, Kotsari and Serra.

 

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