When we read older works on dance, and particularly from the classical era, we read of the dancers performing all sorts of contortions and jumps. The descriptions given are most misleading as they seem to record outlandish movements.

However when we consider the local dancers of today performing a Syrtos, we can readily recognise the descriptions even though they may be unkindly written in the first instance.

But this is not the only example. Consider the following.


Not at all as chaotic as we may be mislead to believe from the early descriptions. I venture to suggest these are remnants of the Pictish (Minoan) tradition which has left its mark on Irish dancing in the form of straight arms and high flicks of the feet to left and right. The word Kouretes in Greek mythology refers to the young men of Crete, followers of Ceres and her daughter Kore. In mythology they are elevated to a rank of Gods. Anthropologically we can see they belong to a certain culture which I identify as Minoan and later with the Picts that colonised Europe before the oncoming wave of the Gaels and other Celtic people.

The musical tradition in Greece has it that the musician follows the dancers, lifting the dancers to greater heights than they would otherwise achieve.

There is a common misconception alive in academia that cultures are restricted to a time and place, and then die out. This is simply not the case. They evolve. Some come to the fore and build empires, only to fade with the passing of time. They leave their mark on the people who once held a vast tract of land and many cultures subordinate to them, often in the form of haughtiness or arrogance. At least as perceived from outside of them. However the people continue to exist and pass their traditions down to their children from one generation to another.