by Fenia Kotsopoulou
Dance as ritual.
Dance as a physical manifestation of emotions.
Dance as means of expression.
Dance as transformation.
Dance as meditation.
Dance as exposure.
Dance as a process of catharsis.
Dance as a manifesto.
Dance as a solitary journey.
Dance as a collective experience.
Dance as nothing else but a dance, which will never be repeated.
This is my own Zeibekiko.
This is a video created from performance footage within the context of Venice International Performance Art Week | Workshop Series
Joint Performance Summer Class by La Pocha Nostra and VestAndPage.
The original piece “Apocalyptic Zeibekiko” took place as a live durational performance on the 5th of June 201,7 at C32, Forte Maghera, Venice (Italy).
The performance is filmed by a camera placed on the top of the ceiling and the unedited full version was projected on a door surface in the C32 performing art workspace during the final public presentation in the following day (6th of June 2017).
Both the original live performance and the short video performance are performed as a ritualistic dance, rooted in the dance of Zeibekiko: a solo male dance based on improvisation, constituting one of the most renowned urban traditional dances in Greece. The specific dance has its roots, possibly, back to 17th century in Constantinople and Smyrni. Ottoman explorer Mehmed Zilli, in his writings, mention that it was danced in Magnesia and in Aydın at local feasts as a dance for two armed people facing one another, which afterwards was developed into an improvised dance for a single male. Zeibekiko dance has been incorporated in the context of “Rebetiko”: a genre closely intertwined with migration, with multicultural origins, encompassing Ottoman-Greek, Ottoman-Turkish, Greek, Arabic, Slavic and Balkan elements, dating back to the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. Throughout history, Zeibekiko has been known as an intensely personal dance where people can express their individuality. Only one man at a time was dancing it. If another got up, it would be a cause for conflict and possible violence.
Here the solitary dance is performed by a female body, claiming the space to manifest its vulnerability and find its own catharsis.
The music is an improvised duet of guitar and bouzouki; a taximi which is defined as a freely improvised unmeasured prelude, within a given dromos/makam, which usually was played at the beginning or in the middle of a song.