“Dance? Did you say, ‘dance’?”
-- Zorba asked his boss in the closing scene of the 1964 movie, “Zorba, The Greek”
“Dance? Did you say, ‘dance’?”
We asked our friends who suggested we join them at a local taverna two weekends ago to watch a Greek dance troupe who’d be performing there. It wasn’t one of those ‘tourist’ performances promoted far and wide. Here, the owner told patrons. Patrons told friends. They told us. That’s the way it works in Greek villages.
One of the benefits of staying in another country for a period of time – whether owning or renting – is that you can begin to immerse yourself in the culture ~ food ~ music ~ the rhythms of life.While we’ve certainly enjoyed the food and drink in Greece, we’d not had the opportunity to enjoy the songs and dances.
But on this particular evening all that was going to change. The sun was just setting, wine was flowing freely from pitcher to glasses, food had been ordered when the music began. . .
Tah-dah-dah-dah-da. . .The music brought forth the dancers. Step, raise the arms, snap the fingers. . .
Oh, Zorba would have liked this. The audience began clapping in time to the music.
“OPA!” The dancers called out. “OPA!” the audience shouted back. Napkins twirled.
“Throw your napkins!,” our friends told us (they do that instead of flinging plates, these days).
OPA!! How I loved that word each time I called it out. It is an expression, a joyous Greek exclamation. It downright makes you happy to yell, “OPA!” (Go ahead, try it a few times.)
What I didn’t realize at the time, but do now that I’ve researched the word, is that OPA! is also an invitation to come join the dancing, circle dancing, in fact. An invitation to come join in. . .uh-oh.
The dancers twirled toward our table. . .as if they were coming for us. No, not to us. Not in a crowded restaurant. Four of the eight at our table were tapped. It was time to throw caution to the wind – to make Zorba proud.
We did our best. We circled. Stepping right. Stepping in. Stepping back.
Move right. Arms up and intertwined. Then clasp hands. Same steps. Arms raised as we moved to the center of the circle. “OPA!” we called out. Dance back. Repeat. Repeat and repeat again.
|Our friend takes center 'stage'|
The sun had set and food was being consumed by our spouses back at the table – but we continued to dance. We twirled. We spinned. We sweat some more. And we laughed, oh, how we laughed. (I think I even heard Zorba laughing.)
And I know you are hoping to see evidence of this Greek dancing debut, but it wasn’t captured by any cameras at our table. (The Scout was barely able to watch the dancing – he certainly didn’t want to record it for posterity.)
So the best I can do is to add the photo of the Dance Troupe plus Two (me and my friend, Sue):
That’s it for this week. Thanks to the dance group, me.bou.da (Melina’s bouzouki dance) for a most memorable evening and introduction to Greek dance at Kastros Taverna in Kardamyli. You can find them on Facebook at me.bou.da Katakolon or dancing their way through The Mani in the Greek Peloponnese.
Again, a big thanks for the time you’ve spent with us. And a welcome to our new subscribers! Hope you’ll come back soon – we are headed to the hills in Greece and will show you some of the off-the-beaten-path treasures along the way.
Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Traveler’s SandboxLinking this week with:
Our World Tuesday
Travel Inspiration – Reflections En Route
Mosaic Monday – Lavender Cottage Gardening