“To dance or to jump” is the literal translation of a Southeast European dance known as Ballos. This “folk” dance is said to have originated from an archipelago called Aegean Islands located in close proximity to Greece, and is essentially a couple dance. Apparently, there are several modified versions of this dance style available around the islands. Furthermore, this dance style essentially comprises of elements representing a “courtship between a man and woman” such as attraction, flirtation, display of masculine prowess and feminine virtue, pursuit, and rejection.
a. History/origin of the Ballos:
According to the cultural history of Greece, due to an orthodox society Greek men did not possess many social opportunities wherein they could flirt with a woman. And so it was therefore to provide men with an avenue in which they could openly flirt with women that this dance form was created.
b. Costumes used in the Ballos:
The costume used in this dance form varies according to the gender as follows:
1. For males:
The attire worn includes a white long sleeve shirt, a maroon overcoat, a black trouser, a cloth tied around the waist, a black cap, a pair of stockings, and a pair of footwear.
2. For females:
The attire worn includes a colourful top, a white apron, a belt, a flowing skirt, a headgear, and a pair of shoes.
c. Music involved in the Ballos:
This dance style is accompanied by a form of music known as “Nisiotika”. Furthermore, the musical instruments mainly used in the Nisiotika music include the lute and a violin.
d. Training availability and the technique involved in the Ballos:
In terms of technique, this dance involves performers using elements related to courtship between a man and woman such as flirtation. Furthermore, the basic step used by the performers in this dance style is extremely seductive, and includes one partner trying to seduce the other one, who does not reciprocate. As for training centers/schools, there are none available around the world since this “folk” dance is mainly performed in “Greece” on the Aegean islands.
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