Former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou was filmed dancing a Zeibekiko with the Mayor of Halicarnassus (Ἁλικαρνασσός, Turkish: Bodrum), Ahmet Aras.
The former prime minister was invited to the “Mediterranean Literature Days” conference being held in the region.
Watch the video
The conference on Literature, Democracy and Climate Change in the Mediterranean is organised by the Livaneli Foundation in collaboration with the Municipality of Bodrum.
The dance takes its name from the Zeybeks, an irregular Muslim Greek militia living in the Aegean Region of the Ottoman Empire from late 17th to early 20th centuries.
It was first seen at the end of the 17th century in cities such as Constantinople and Smyrni.
Evliya Çelebi mentions in his writings that it was danced in Magnesia and in Aydın at local feasts.
Originally a dance for two armed people facing one another, it developed into an improvised dance for a single male.
After the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1922, the dance became popular also in mainland Greece, in many songs of Laiko music.
Due to the movements of the dancer, it is sometimes known as the “eagle dance”. The dance has no set steps, only certain figures and a circular movement. It takes place in an area little surpassing one square metre and mostly consists of improvised movements.
Occasionally dancers perform feats such as standing on a glass of wine or a chair or fireplace, or picking up a table, adding a sense of a little braggadocio and humor.