Greek Tsifteteli - Smyrnean style


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This video shows how, more or less, real women, would dance tsifteteli of the style of Smyrne (Izmir). I am glad i finally managed to find such a good example. Enjoy!

I was searching an old discussion about the styles of Greek tsifteteli, but i was unable to find it. So, in case a moderator can help with this, so that we do not bug the forum with new threads... it is also better to have all information gathered at one place, where the discussion is.

THank you.


Super Moderator
That is so interesting, Walla. I've seen belly dance versions with much more body articulation. Is that a theatrical style and this is the more traditional? I am embarrassed to know so little about the subject and hope you will elucidate.


New member
It depends on the community and the dancers,

...i suppose, as in Smyrnean tsifteteli there are more movements as well, usually of the hips, but also of the hands (the music style permits several combinations). But yes, movements are not exaggerated apart from the backbend (which they do not do in this case, as the music has no space for a backbend, to my opinion, apart from a moment in this song that is not in the video, as it stops early, before the music stops).

However, this video is the closest i could find till now for this style. The ladies belong to some sort of women's association or so, wearing copies of middle class Smyrnean women clothes (and i would say very conservative ones) of early 20th century. I really doubt whether women at that era would dance with their hats on head (as this was only worn when they were walking in the streets). I also doubt whether they would dance with their street clothes, esp. their jackets, in a closed room.

However, judging from the fact that the dance has been performed in the City Hall of Nicea (Greater Athens area), where many refugees/refugee-origin people live (e.g. people who had to flee to Greece from Turkey after 1922), i can accept that this might be the dancing style of the specific community those women (or their teacher) originate from. However, the steps are not identical for all women (so i can say that this is a real community dance, learned from grandmothers or a deeply talented teacher).

What is important is that they do not miss a mili-second from the music - this would be a real mistake for Greek tsifteteli. You might be a "demure" dancer, but you are not allowed to be off the music.

You can watch this one as well

‪?? ????? ??????‬‏ - YouTube

which is from refugee (grand)children from Ayvalik-Kydonies

they are obviously performing a choreography [no dancer would start or end her dance, like this, kneeling on the ground - there is no floorwork in Greek tsifteteli, apart from the South of Greece, where there are strong influences from the gypsy-Roma dances] and you cannot find the variety of movements of the previous video. I really like that they use the little ouzo glasses as cymbals.