Sirtaki (Sirtáki, or Syrtáki) is a popular dance of Greek origin. However despite the 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
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.
Primitive step patterns, for small children and beginners
The steps are the same for slow and fast parts.
More complex steps
Steps for slow and faster parts differ.