One of the most known and lovely to dance or watch Greek Dances is ballos, the dance of the Greek islands. Ballos is a syrtos dance, which means that the dancers drag their steps following the rhythm of the music, but it is far different than the numerous types of syrtos dances in Greece.
Ballos Dance and Flirting
Ballos is considered one of the most flirtatious dances; it is danced by couples and the entire choreography reminds a lot of two people who are trying to seduce each other. Ballos has a particular ritual which represents the erotic game between two new lovers–to-be, and the claim or conquer of the one from the other.
The initial steps of ballos dance were inspired by the erotic approach of pigeons; it is danced by two, not necessarily by man and woman but in whatever combination applies in any case, and the one tries to approach the other, who tries to escape via a nice and fun game of steps. The aesthetic result is really pleasant and ballos is by far one of the funniest and most enjoyable dances to watch.
If you decide to learn dancing it, you should know that it does have specific steps but it’s prone to improvisations both in the steps and the pose. For some people ballos dance can be like a theatrical play or show, revealing a lot about the imagination and improvisation ability of the dancers.
Ballos and Nisiotika – The Dance of the Cyclades
Ballos was born in the Greek islands, and most particularly in the Cyclades islands. Although all types of syrtos dance are known in the Greek Islands, ballos is the typical dance of the Cyclades and of some of the islands of the Northeastern Aegean.
It is important to distinguish ballos of the Cyclades from the one danced in the Ionian Islands, because ballos there is slower and usually a heavy dance – sometimes synonymous to mourning dances. In the Cyclades, ballos is an open-hearted dance, always danced with good spirit and mood.
The dancers usually call it a dance at three, referring to the three main steps involved in the main poses of ballos dance. These three steps are just the base of the dance though, because as we said the real beauty and pleasure of this dance is the ability of dancers to enhance it with new and original steps and figures.
The second most important characteristic of the ballos dance is that it follows the rhythm of Nisiotika songs, which contain some kind of “amanes” as it is said in the countries of the Mediterranean. Amanes is the expanded musical rhythm that prolongs some syllables, or repeats some words and sounds. In Nisiotika songs, particularly the ones of the Cyclades and North Aegean Sea islands, amanes is synonymous to melisma.