Social Structures, Gender Dimensions and Semantic Implications in Dance: The Sergiani Custom in the Village of Megala Kalivia (Trikala)

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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.

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