Dancing runs in the blood of almost every Cypriot, many of their traditions include music and dance, from wedding preparations to the celebrating the harvest – dancing forms an integral part of Cypriot culture.
It would not be a festival without music, and with music comes dance for some it is a simple tapping of feet for another’s it is swaying along with the rhythm whereas others may have the tendency to be a bit more extravert in their movements. Dancing is a no doubt a form of expression, almost like DNA, apart from identical twins, no two dancers move the same, each feels the music and transfers their emotions in the rhythm’s steps.
Professional dancing is not only a vocation, it is a profession that requires passion and patience, being able to control the sensations a piece of music gives into coherent and organised steps and that is very clear in Cypriot dances. Most Cypriot folk dances a are group effort, however they tend to then provide the opportunity for the individual to show off their skills providing the perfect opportunity to grab the limelight and impress a certain special person in their lives. Folk dancing has been a display of talent, none are more ‘boastful’ then the traditional Tatsia dance of Cyprus, whereby brave individuals step forward swinging around the circular wooden frame coated in a woven fabric with the kind of precision a martial artist uses their nunchucks. The buzz increases as the dancer begins to include glasses filled with wine, one by one adding more and more to their tatsia.
At CyWineFest 2016 we had the pleasure of hosting Monsieur Doumani, who were part of the entertainment programme that among other talents included none other than Greek music legend George Dalaras. Monsieur Doumani play a very important role in exporting Cypriot culture, encouraging traditional music and dance in a bespoke form, and they simply keep on providing the uniqueness. Not your archetypical traditional Cypriot band, Monsieur Doumani have taken the roots of the music, skipped out on the preservation of specific bygone decades, whilst preserving the qualities and importance of musicians playing instruments and created a modern Cypriot sound.
There are cases whereby conservation and protection of certain genres is needed, we can find many examples in 21st century music otherwise categories all merge into one, for example, pop music, many artists that make it mainstream are often classed as popular music, however there is a distinction between a rock and a jazz band, in fact there are many divisions with the two genres. Understandably It is the natural flow in life for products to evolve, R’n’B is not the same as it was 10 years ago and is completely unrecognisable to the R’n’B of emerging in 1940s America, however should it still be classed as R’n’B? Rhythm and Blues, has in the sense of its conception, lost its way. Monsieur Doumani have almost done the impossible, keeping the underlining formula the same and introducing the compatible variables into the equation resulting into a fusion of current music and that of a bygone era.
Cypriot music, whether Greek or Turkish is almost identical with the main difference of course being the language of the vocals, with vibrant music, movement and colours, the actual language the song is sang in at times comes second, Cypriot dancing is a platform of expression and metaphor that once you set you eyes upon the intricate little movements it is difficult not to become completely engrossed in its technique and it is important that these traditions be protected and preserved.
CyWineFest always strives to provide top Cypriot dancers such as the Argonaftes, the Assiotes dance group, and of course Karotseris Aradippou who have kept the crowds enticed and off their seats, engaging the event with old school Cypriot values, their hospitality and their approachability has made them a festival favourite. Year in year out we seek out the best dance groups that Cyprus has to offer we also endeavour to include the British Cypriot community in our entertainment programme. Details of the entertainment programme or at least part of it will be announced very soon so ensure that you never miss a CyWineFest update and follow the team @CyWineFest on Instagram, Facebook and twitter and get interactive.