The music tradition is strongly connected with the Cretan life style. Even nowadays despite on globalisation. It is something unique even for Greece. The rhythms are different, the music instruments are different, even the folk costumes are different.
If you have been to Crete in summer, you might witnessed village holidays, called “panigiria”. There you could experience the real Cretan feast – souvlaki, house wine, raki all night long. And music and dances! Yes, the Cretans know to dance the traditional dances. Even young generation, even hipsters!
Cretan music is considered the most vibrant in Greece. Accompanied with the sound of the “lyre”, the lute and occasionally the violin and the guitar, musicians sing “mantinades” – songs arranged in couplets. Their main subjects are marriage, death, historical events, heroic characters etc. The development of dances and the development of music in the course of time were closely connected.
The Cretan dances have their roots in the Minoan times. Traditional dances, during which men and women wear the superb Cretan costumes, include slow and swift rhythms, always with dynamic and imposing postures. There is a direct connection with war dances, particularly if they are danced in a circle by a group of men. Following the rhythm of the lyre, the dancers gradually improve their technique, while they perform the difficult steps of dances like ‘Pentozalis, ‘Syrtos’ and ‘Kalamatianos’. The dancer who leads the circle, usually a man, is supported by the right hand of the second dancer and is thus able to perform excellent leaps, the so-called “tsalimia”.
No Cretan wedding is complete without the folk dances. Nowadays the group dances have symbol of a union, a declaration of “These people are my tribe!”. The dancing all together at a one big circle makes you feel united. Isn’t it a meaning of a wedding as well? If you want to spice up a wedding reception, we can book a team of professional dances who would teach you and your guests some basic steps and would put on a memorable show for you.