Cretan people are deeply connected with music and rhythm. The Cretan dances are part of the rich cultural history of the island and were always the best way of expression for the Cretans.
The traditional music and Cretan dances have their roots as back as Minoan Crete. They are directly connected with the spirit and social life of Cretans, from antiquity until nowadays. You can hear the locals singing and dancing not only at parties and social events but also in their everyday life. Through their music and dance, they used to express their inner feelings and emotions, their joy or sorrow, and of course love and passion for life.
Most of the Cretan dances are highly energetic, fast, and characterized as war songs. Essentially, they represent the elements of Cretan nature, the stormy sea, and the rugged Cretan mountains. The traditional music and dances of Crete are learned, with enthusiasm by the children, so a vital link between generations is cultivated. The best places to see authentic Cretan dance is the local festivals and the numerous organized exhibitions, especially during the summer.
On Crete, there are many kinds of traditional dances, some of them are, Pentozalis, Syrtos, Sousta, and Maleviziotis.
One famous Cretan dance is Pentozali. It comes from the Cretan war dance where armed warriors used to dance in ancient times. It represents the revolution, heroism, and hope. The black handkerchief on the dancer’s head witnesses the sacrifices of the Cretan folk.
Another well-known dance is Syrtos. This dance originated in the city of Chania in western Crete and is also known on Crete as Haniotikos. The rhythm is slow and usually, there is a first dancer who skillfully and energetically leads the group.
Another typical Cretan dance is Sousta. It is danced by men and women opposite one to each other and contains many elements of the ancient war dance “pyrrhic”. The dancers form a semicircle and dance altogether, and then they are separated to form couples. The name Sousta means spring and refers to the characteristic movement of the dancers.
Maleviziotis is a fast and lively dance that allows impressive improvisations by the lead dancer. It is the modern version of an ancient war dance and represents the adventure in battle.
Cretan dance is something we recommend to experience once you stay at Althea Village Hotel, in order to have an unforgettable and pleasant experience!