Asia Minor

The Greeks formerly resident along the western coast of Asia Minor were removed to Greece in the 1920s and lost a great deal of their cultural heritage. Dances which survive include the Hasapikos or Butcher's dance from Constantinople, a dance performed by a line of men which is well-known outside Greece. Another men's dance is a Zeimbekikos called Aptalikos, danced by individuals or groups of men.

An unusual dance from Asia Minor is Tsifteteli, a very old dance derived form the temple dancing of the east. It is a solo dance for men or women and unlike most other Greek dances places great emphasis on the movement of the hips.


Many Greeks from the central Turkish area of Cappadocia were re-settled in the north of Greece and Thessaly in the 1920s. Whilst they again had to give up most of their previous life, religious celebrations such as St Basil's Day (1 January), Epiphany and Easter managed to survive, as did some of the dances associated with them.

The most popular of these dances are Karsilamades or Antikristi, i.e. face-to-face dances, accompanied by singing and the clicking of wooden spoons. Men do not dance with a woman to whom they are not related, and the tone of the dances is modest and serious as befits their religious nature.