Sirtaki (Sirtáki, or Syrtáki - in Greek συρτάκι) is a popular dance of Greek origin. However, despite widespread belief, it is not an authentic traditional Greek dance. In fact, it was created in 1964 for the movie Zorba the Greek from the mixture of slow and fast versions of Hasapiko (Hasápikos, Chasápikos) dance. The dance and the music (by Míkis Theodorakis) are also called Zorbá's dance or Zorbas. Sometimes one can see the name "the dance of Zorbas", because originally the name of the movie was "Aléxis Zorbás".
A distinctive feature of the Sirtaki dance and music is its speeding up.
The name Sirtáki comes from the Greek word syrtos, a common name for a group of traditional Greek dances of so-called "dragging" or "shuffling" style (as opposed to pidikhtos, which is hopping or leaping style. Despite that, Sirtaki incorporates both syrtos (in its slower part) and pidikhtós (in its faster part) elements.
Now Sirtáki is one of cultural attractions of Greece (and Greek-style taverns all over the world).
Sirtáki is danced in a line or circle formation with hands held on neighbors' shoulders. Line formation is more traditional.
Meter is 4/4, tempo increasing, and often the signature is changed to 2/4 in the fastest part. Accordingly, the dance begins with slower, smoother actions, gradually transforming into faster, vivid ones, often including hops and leaps.
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