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The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)

Siganos

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BACKGROUND

Information: A dance.

Translation: Slow or easy going

Pronunciation: see-gah-NOHS

Other name: Slow Pentozali

Region: Greece


THOUGHTS

The Siganos of Crete is found with:

  1. An 8-count step done in a reverse L pattern.
  2. The 6-count pattern common to so many dances and also found in the Southern Albanian "Valle" ("dance"). No evidence exists for a direct link. The 6-count pattern, popular now, may have started as a regional variation.
  3. A combination of the 6-count pattern with a reverse L pattern.

Sung couplets called kondilies often provide accompaniment for Siganos, which may have developed from these songs. Siganos followed by Pentozali may be a stage choreography, because Cretans rarely dance Pentozali as a participatory dance but as a performance dance. Pentozlis can follow any number of kondylies melody sequences; the Anoyianes kondylies are popular. Kondylies occur in both siganos and in mandinades (poetry sessions), but not simultaneously. Dance and poetry sessions occur separately.

Many song-dances exist in Greece, sung a cappella, for a 6-count pattern dance.

Young Cretan dancers display skill through Malevisiotikos, also a display of skill for the lyra-player.

While siganos/kondylies and improvised mandinades appears to be older, the popularity of siganos may be more recent than that of the pidichta dances (sousta, pentozalis, maleviziotikos. etc.). The Cretan syrtos became popular relatively recently and resembles siganos.


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