A guide for dance in Athens


The word dance or its equivalent in ancient Greek Orchessis, signifies the combination of speech (logos), music and movement, and whose Muse, according to the ancient Greeks, is Terpsichore. The concept of dance is interwoven with man and their evolution in various societies and creates a phenomenon of universal validity that is continuously transformed depending on the differentiation of the social structures and economic and political events in various cultures of the world. In Ancient Greek culture, in the 5th century BC, Plato was the first to distinguish war dancing, hunting dancing and rain- dancing from the concept of dancing as a “noble” art. According to him, the art of dance through human movement should include elements of imitation, which not only represent an event but also, induce an experience to the spectator by reproducing or/and re-enacting an emotion. Following Plato’s footsteps, Aristotle pointed out that rhythm, words and melody are different means by which, either singly or variously combined, they all produce their imitation. He particularly referred to dancing, arguing that rhythm alone without melody is adequate, for there are dancers who, by giving rhythm to gesture, express manners, passions and actions. From the above we can detect our remoteness, already from the beginning of the European civilization, from the concept of dance as just a spontaneous and commonly accepted human manifestation. Dance, already from the 5th century, had acquired, according to the above, its status as a recognized artistic activity and was a dominant element in the process of the theatrical production of ancient drama. Plato’s and Aristotle’s views have repeatedly influenced European ideas on the art of dance in various countries.