Traditional Dance Seminar

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A paradise on Earth If paradise were on Earth, it would be here, in Naxos. These are the words of Nikos Kazantzakis, the renowned Greek writer who lived in Naxos for a year and wrote there his "Report to Greco". Naxos, the largest and greenest island of the Cyclades, has always been famous for its rich culture and long tradition. Settled almost in the centre of the Aegean Sea, it has become over the years the centre of the Cycladic tradition. The lush green environment and the friendly people are vital parts of the island's special vibe. This island had a great sweetness and a lot of peacefulness. All mens' faces were looking good. The sea was quiet. Here, freedom has switched off the fever for freedom and life was just flowing, like a sleeping and happy water; and if sometime it was a little troubled, it was never facing a storm or a hurricane. Serenity was the very first gift from the island and I was feeling it, while dawdling in Naxos... (Nikos Kazantzakis) The calm sea, the beautiful nature, the good-natured people living a simple life, the rich culture, all these have made Naxos a popular and pleasant place to be... The Dance Seminar Celebrating our love for Naxos, we also offer you the possibility to share this love and respect for the island and its traditions. After one year of preparation and with the collaboration of Naxos community, the Council of Drymalia and the Cultural Associations of the villages, we propose you a unique 11-day dance seminar at the end of July 2009. Feel the vibrabt heart of the Cyclades, learn the dancing tradition of Naxos and other islands, come face to face with the real folk life of its inhabitants, spend 11 days and nights where life celebrates its essence! All people who are interested in dancing can take part in this program, even if you are not professional. Our aim is to get you close to the Cycladic and Naxiotic tradition, through dancing. However, if you don't want to dance, you can also take part in this program as an associate. For you, the schedule will not be too tight, you can either follow us or make your own holidays. The wonderful beaches, the ancient sites, the mountainous village, the 400 Byzantine churches and the 130 Venetian towers can certainly keep you busy all day long. As dancing has always been an important part of the Greek culture, every Greek town and island has different dances and different dancing styles. The same values for the villages of Naxos: every in a small island like Naxos, every village has different dances and every dancer has different style to dance, according to his mood that time. Dances are totally connected to the emotional situation of the dancer: love, pain, saddness, anger... In this seminar, we teach you the dances and you add the emotions. All our four teachers are native first-rank dancers who have either danced for many years the traditional dances of Naxos or have teached them to others in Greece and abroad. The Schedule Our schedule includes 8 days of dancing and 2 days free. We will dance in festivals (panigiria) and cultural events in four villages of Naxos: Koronida, Koronos, Kinidaros and Damarionas. In every village, we will present its own dances, so there will be courses every two days. For the 2 free days, we have organized activities to meet better the Naxian tradition. We will meet Vangelis, a tsambouna-maker. Tsambouna is a traditional musical instrument of the Greek islands. Vangelis will tell us how he makes tsambounas the traditional way and what are the differences between tsambounas of Naxos and other islands, like Paros, Mykonos and Karpathos. We will also visit an old mill making olive oil, an old weaving shed, an old mine of emery, a distillery of Kitron (the legendary liqueur of Naxos) and a peasant making cheese and wine. On the second free day, if the wind is not too strong, we will make a boat tour to the small islands around Naxos. For all our transportations, we will have a bus. We will stay in a family hotel close to the sea that has all the necessary comforts. Rooms will accommodate 2, 3 or 4 people. We will eat delicious meals in small family taverns and we will communicate with the locals. Cost This dance seminar is non-profit and non-lucrative. All expenses are being re-charged at cost, so that we can pay for the services on Naxos: the hotel, the taverns, the bus rental, the bus driver, the dance teachers and boat trips.