The famous Greek zeibekiko dance

Zeibekiko, or Zeimbekiko, is a Greek Dance, one of the most popular and beloved dances and rhythms in Greece. It is considered an urban improvisational dance, following a dancing pattern of 9/8.

Zeibekiko in Greek is written as zeimpekiko (ζεϊμπέκικο).

The οrigins of zeibekiko

zeibekiko-sepiaZeibekiko dance is considered a Greek dance, but its origins are found to a particular dance of warriors in Anatolia (today’s Turkey), called Zeybek.

This rhythmic dance was a little different, and less improvisational, as it was a typical tribal dance mostly in the villages of Aydin and Western Turkey.

It was a dance known only to the islanders in Greece, especially the ones living close to Asia Minor, due to the commercial exchanges and strong relationships that islanders kept with their families and friends from Asia Minor.

Zeibekiko was introduced in Greek mainland after the 1922 genocide in Asia Minor and the incoming refugees towards Greece.

The zeibekiko dance and rhythm, bearing something nostalgic, but yet brave and audacious became naturalized in Greece and became a typical and popular Greek dance. It was re-introduced to Turkey as a Greek Rhythm, as the original dance is considered more folkloric. Zeibekiko dance used to be a men’s dance, although last few decades women have also mastered the art of dancing it.

Zeibekiko Composers and Players

One of the most important Reberiko composers, Markos Vamvakaris from the island of Syros, was one of the pioneers in importing, shaping and naturalizing zeibekiko dance.

Some of the most known zeibekiko composers in Greece are Vassilis Tsitsanis, Apostolos Kaldaras, Stavros Xarhakos, Manos Loizos and many more.

In the featured here, you can see the infamous Zeibekiko of Evdokia, one of the most known Greek Songs, which is actually instrumental, because the sound and melody are so powerful that lyric writers refused to write lyrics on the melody, fearing that they will ruin it. It was composed by Manos Loizos.

Zeibekiko dance today

zeimpekikoZeibekiko is definitely one of the most beloved Greek dances, because it’s passionate and flamboyant. It is a personal dance, a way to express individuality, but also fears and desires, a way to unwind through music and dance. Usually only one person at a time may dance it and everyone else has to kneel down, forming a circle around the dancer, clapping following the rhythm and encouraging the dancer.

Zeibekiko dance does have some particular steps, but the most impressive dance is the one where the dancer shows his creativity, performing special feats, adding a little humor and personal touch to the occasion.

The real zeibekiko for Greeks, though, is heavy and impassionate, a spoony dance; an expression of sevdah danced by buster guys. An introverted dance that reflects the sorrow, anguish and pain of the dancer as well as his emotional distress and his losses.

Zeibekiko is the most commonly danced rhythms in feasts, and when Greeks go to taverns or night clubs with live music.

Category: Greek Music

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15 Responses to Zeibekiko

  1. vre panteli,vre panteli August 14, 2009 at 11:35 #

    looking for this zembekiko song around mid 70 sung by lady singer

  2. Alexander December 21, 2009 at 00:35 #

    I would like to contact the creators of this site because it is extremely valuable…please write to me or give me an email to contact you because I have some questions for you…Thank you in advance and congratulations on the magnificent website…

  3. denis August 20, 2010 at 04:51 #

    looking for zeibekiko music with words

    • Mark October 21, 2010 at 19:30 #

      to denis. Dimitris Mitropanos’s song “Rosa” or another good one is by Notis Sfakianakis and thats “O Aetos”

  4. greek-music-fan October 23, 2010 at 17:10 #

    Nice video! Nice dancer!

  5. centura slabit December 16, 2010 at 00:21 #

    I was been trying to find the Web for such info on Greek music and just wanted to thank u for this post.

  6. Loria Kozlovsky December 26, 2010 at 04:54 #

    Good blog! I like it.

  7. Norbert Benefield December 29, 2010 at 19:37 #

    Good blog! I like it.

  8. Phil Zepp December 29, 2010 at 22:58 #

    Great blog! A pleasure to read.

  9. Edgar Flach January 16, 2011 at 02:30 #

    Placing the site to your favorites.

  10. HyeWiz January 18, 2011 at 19:47 #

    What a great blog about Greek music. Its a pleasure to see blogs like this one.

    Definitely added to my favorites

  11. Harout January 30, 2012 at 08:59 #

    Amazing site, found it by accident, and haven’t stopped browsing since. Keep up the good work!
    Also, any chance of including some of Giorgos Margaritis’s songs on the site?

    • Katia February 1, 2012 at 23:08 #

      We will definitely! Keep in touch!

  12. kostaskerkira April 9, 2012 at 14:54 #

    fantastic dancer

  13. Michelle May 15, 2018 at 15:19 #

    Truely charmed by a dancer of zeibekiko. How I wish to see him dance again…

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