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Konstantinos Dimopoulos, Vasiliki Tyrovola and Maria Koutsouba

Abstract

Throughout the world there are rites and customs that take place in the context of a specific time and place. The dance act is a reflection of the local society, as it represents a way of validating or questioning the local structures, interpersonal and gender relations, as well as the community policies. Such custom would be the custom of sergiani in the community of Megala Kalyvia (Trikala). The aim of this paper is to examine the custom of sergiani and the role of the dance in that community. The collection and processing of data is based on the principles of ethnographic study. In order to examine the form of the dance, the structural-morphological model is used, while the dances were notated using the Labanotation system. The interpretation of the dance is based on the methodological optics as established by Hanna (1988), according to whom, in order to reach conclusions regarding the society and gender relations, dance must be taken into account. By controlling the patriarchal sovereignty in that community, the female gender would always find mechanisms to show resistance and renegotiate women’s role, position and relation not only against the opposite sex, but also within women. Those mechanisms are triggered through customary and dance practices, such as the sergiani custom.

Open access

Konstantinos Dimopoulos, Vasiliki Tyrovola and Maria Koutsouba

Abstract

The custom as an act inherently includes the concept of compulsory repetition and expresses the community as a whole. Through custom and ritual, every local or wider community discovers its own identity, but also the ritual is the vehicle through which the inhabitants of the local community give shape to that identity and are influenced by it . The custom of sergiani was a cultural act performed by the inhabitants of the Megala Kalyvia municipality, as the latter forms part of the wider Karagkounides group. The aim of this paper is to shed light on the custom of sergiani performed in Megala Kalyvia (Trikala, Greece), as well as to emphasise on the reasons why the custom stopped being performed. The collection and processing of data is based on the principles of ethnographic study. The new socioeconomic, historical and cultural facts that prevailed let to the discontinuance of the custom and the accompanying dances, as it occurred with other cultural and dance practices, and it was sealed by the historical structure a dependent - in a broader sense - local social and cultural identity. The president of the municipality, as an expression of the occidental perception with foreign cultural influences contrary to the perceptions of its inhabitants, contributed, with his actions, to the alienation of the local cultural identity.

Open access

Giorgos K. Fountzoulas, Maria I. Koutsouba and Evgenia Nikolaki

Abstract

Greek traditional dance’s transition from its “first” to the “second” existence took place in the context of the urbanization as this took place in Greece. This transition was accompanied, among others, with its teaching into a classroom that had to follow the principles governing every educational process. In this new context, the dance teaching is subject to literacy processes, which, in this case, are related to a literacy of dance and therefore of culture, that is to a dance and cultural literacy. The aim of this study is to look at dance as an educational subject that can lead to critical literacy through dance’s multiliteracies as a synthesis of dance, movement, cultural and art literacy, with specific reference to Greek traditional dance. For this, literature-based research methodology is adopted that includes analysis and evaluation of relevant published literature. The literature review showed that Greek traditional dance, in the modern education framework, can be perceived in the light of critical literacy based on its multiliteracies, which are related to the concepts of movement, dance, art and cultural literacy.

Open access

Giorgos K. Fountzoulas, Maria I. Koutsouba, Anastasios Hapsoulas and Vasilios Lantzos

Abstract

In many cases, dance, as an embodied practice reflects habits, views, relations and juxtaposition and thus constitutes a “vessel” of meanings, is used by the ruling class as a means of enforcement or manipulation, whereas by the people, as a means to resist or express opposition to the policies of the respective ruling class. In such cases, dance stands as a symbol that carries values and meanings, embodies cultural classifications, reflects social relations and diversifications, and defines integration and exclusion. Dance, as “an inalienable structural component” of the “Gaitanaki” ritual in a community of Central Greece, i.e. Skala in the Nafpaktia province, is one of such cases. Thus, the aim of this paper is to study the transformation of dance during the “Gaitanaki” ritual as a result of the manipulation by the ruling class through the Greek formal education in the 20th century. More specifically, the paper investigates the way in which the respective ruling class influenced, manipulated and guided the dance during the ritual and how this contributed to the transformation of its dancing form from the middle of the 20th century until now. For this purpose, ethnographic research was carried out as it applies to the dance research. Data analysis was based on “thick description”, whereas its interpretation on Wright’s (2004) notion of political and politicised culture as this derives from Bourdieu’s (1990) “habitus”. It is proved that national cultural policy promoted through formal education transformed aspects of dance during the ritual as well as its symbolism.

Open access

Georgios Lykesas, Christina Papaioannou, Aspasia Dania, Maria Koutsouba and Evgenia Nikolaki

Abstract

According to philosophers and paedagogists, from antiquity until today, arts and dance in particular have played a determining role in shaping the human personality, as well as in helping people gain a positive perspective of their multi-aspect development in terms of knowledge, perception, creative ability, psychomotor actions, emotional and social elevation. This holistic and anthropocentric approach in antiquity set new ways for perceiving motion -particularly dance- through the dance education. The aim of this study is to provide a well-documented review of dance in religious events of the ancient Greek world, by collecting and processing data related to female deities connected to the most important dances and music in public feasts of Ancient Greece -feasts of both religious and war character. Dance, music and poetry; the three elements that managed to influence and configure the education of the Ancient Greeks, leading to one of the most fundamental elements of Greek aesthetics: “harmony”.

Open access

Eleni Filippidou, Maria Koutsouba, Vassiliki Lalioti and Vassilis Lantzos

Abstract

The research field of this project is the area if Greek Thrace, which is a great geopolitical-cultural unity that was divided - due to political process - in three subareas that were distributed to three different countries: Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece. A dance happening that took place before the lining of the boundaries to date in the Greek and Turkish Thrace is that of “K’na”. “K’na” is a female dance happening which is danced to date by the people of both areas in spite of their religious beliefs, social - economic and cultural development. The purpose of this project is to study the different expressions of this dance in Nea Vyssa and examine if these are related to matters of search and conformation of ethnic and national identity of this group under the terms of the social cybernetics. Data was gathered through the ethnographic method as this is applied to the study of dance and the interpretation of the data was based on the theoretical visuals of the social-cybernetic according to the inspection model of identity that Burke proposed. From the data analysis, we established that the dance of “K’na” in Nea Vyssa constructs and reconstructs not only the ethnic but the national identity of the groups who use them in order to react to the messages they receive via the communication with “the important others”.

Open access

Lykesas Georgios, Dania Aspasia, Koutsouba Maria, Nikolaki Evgenia and Tyrovola Basiliki

Abstract

Research evidence on traditional dance teaching has shown how important it is for primary school education to institute reforms and present new ways of intervention in order to contribute effectively to the overall development of the child's personality. The aim of this research is a) to demonstrate the effectiveness of a music and movement instructional program on traditional dance learning, in terms of primary school students patterns of self-reported positive learning experiences and active lesson participation and b) to examine its impact on students’ internal motivation to play and dance with a more enjoyable and creative mood. During a period of six months 80 students (34 boys and 46 girls) aged between 9-10 years old, took part in the research. They were divided into two groups, the experimental group (N = 40) and control group (N = 40). The experimental group was taught Greek traditional dances according to a Music and Movement teaching model, while the control group was taught the same dances with a direct teaching model. The impact of the two models on students’ motivation to participate actively during the lesson was tested with the use of the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI). The results showed that the use of Music and Movement teaching models can have a positive impact on students’ intrinsic motivation and active participation in the course of traditional dance.

Open access

Olga Theocharidou, Georgios Lykesas, Ioannis Giossos, Dimitrios Chatzopoulos and Maria Koutsouba

Abstract

The combination of Creative Dance and BrainDance within the context of physical education could be a promising innovation. This combined program can be implemented in primary school to help students achieve a better and more holistic assessment of their Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL), covering aspects of physical, emotional, social, and mental functioning and well-being. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact that a combined Creative Dance and BrainDance program based on the Laban Theory of Movement Analysis has on HRQoL perceptions of primary school students when this program is implemented within the context of the physical education curriculum in primary school. For this purpose, an eight-week educational intervention was designed combining Creative Dance and BrainDance into one single program. The survey sample consisted of 32 fifth- and sixth-grade primary school students. The Kidscreen-52 questionnaire was used to collect data. Data analysis was performed with the use of descriptive statistical indices and mixed analysis of variance (ANOVA). Although the results showed no differences between the beginning and end of the educational intervention, a fact that might be due to the small sample and the time of the implementation of the program (limited to 8 weeks), its implementation produced very good results with regard to improvisation, body control, balance, and coordination, as well as kinaesthetic awareness and musical rhythmic skills. Creative Dance and BrainDance promote imagination, creativity, improvisation, and self-esteem in general, particularly in primary school students..

Open access

Dimitra Gratsiouni, Maria Koutsouba, Foteini Venetsanou and Vasiliki Tyrovola

Abstract

The incorporation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in education has changed the educational procedures through the creation and use of new teaching and learning environments with the use of computers and network applications that afford new dimensions to distance education. In turn, these emerging and in progress technologies, render new practices in many fields including the field of dance offering a fertile quest to everyone involved in the dance. Yet, a critical evaluation of the content of YouTube dance videos has not been carried out though what is eventually learned through YouTube is a key question. Based on the above, the aim of this study was to critically examine the way YouTube network channel as Computer Based Learning-CBL functions both as a learning tool and as a teaching result concerning the field of dance having as example a Greek traditional dance named Karagouna. YouTube dance videos were gathered through observation, while the dance exemplar used was based on ethnographic research. For the dance recording of the Karagouna performances examined from YouTube, Laban’s notation system (Labanotation) was used. For the analysis of the dance performances, the dance structural-morphological and typological method was adopted. Finally, for the comparison of the Karagouna dance performances examined from YouTube with the exemplar of the dancing community, the comparative method was used. It was proved that someone with little or no relation to dance is likely to learn dance with the use of YouTube, yet it is questionable what kind of dance will actually learn since in a number of cases the dance videos do not correspond to the performance of the dancing community. In addition, the outcome is different if someone with prior knowledge on the field of dance (dancer, dance teacher, dance student etc.) uses YouTube as a teaching and learning tool as, in this case, its use is useful and interactive.