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The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)

Dances of Crete
By Mary Coros

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Mary Coros

Crete map It is generally accepted that the dance syrtós from Crete is known as Haniótikos because it was once danced mostly in the provinces and districts of the nomos (county) of Hania where it has been said to have been "perfected." Today it is pan-Cretan and natives refer to it simply as syrtós, wheras most other Greeks use the adjective Kritikós (Cretan) or Haniótikos. American folk dancers tend to use Kritikós or Cretan and rarely use the term Haniótikos.

Cretans, when placing a request for a specific syrtós, seldom mention the word; they usually ask the lyráris (lyra player) or the laoutiéris for the title of a syrtós, i.e., a Rodhinoú (a composition by the famous lyrári Rodhinos) or the prótos (first, original – a specific oldmelody well known to all Cretans and considered to be the old "original" syrtós) or a Seliniótikos (a composition by someone in or from the town of Selinos), etc.

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