PRONUNCIATION: hah-SAH-poh-SEHR-vee-kohs TRANSLATION: Hasapikos at Serbian-speed SOURCE: Dick Oakes learned this dance in the Greek community of Los Angeles. Athan Karras, a prominent Greek dance researcher, also has taught Hasaposervikos to folk dancers in the United States, as have several other teachers of Greek dance. BACKGROUND: Hasaposervikos is an expanded Grigoro Hasapikos (or Hassapikos), meaning "fast butcher's dance" from the Turkish word "hassipis," for butcher. The tempo of the dance is a slow 2/4, but not as slow as the Vari Hasapikos (4/4). Its underlying Hasapikos dance motif has been transformed and expanded through Serbian, Romanian, and Bulgarian influences by traveling Gypsy musicians.
The Hasapika dances are another form of which many indicative topical dances evolve with regional styles. Often, various Hasapika dances are associated with an event or with an occupation. Originally, the Hasapika were disseminated from Byzantium (currently known as İstanbul, named after Constantinople fell). The butchers participated in the festivals sponsored by their guilds as a means of expiating their emotions from slaughtering animals at this great trade center. The emerging energy and fury from this dance developed a popularity which spread throughout the Balkans and the Near East. Greek island seamen were instrumental in disseminating these hasapika dances.
The Hasaposerviko, in time, evolved this particular tempo and form by influencing contemporary musicians and composers to play and compose new music to this ancient traditional form. Therefore, today we are dancing to updated melodies, music set to older established rhythms. The uniqueness of these Greek dances is that the dancers must follow the leader with all the changes and variations for an effective, coordinated effort.
MUSIC: Grecophon (LP) GR 307, side 2, band 3;
Phillips International (P.I.) Records (LP) PI-LPS-33, side 1, band 3;
Festival (45rpm) F-3501 B;
Festival (45rpm) F-3503 A;
Festival (45rpm) F-3504 B;
Festival (45rpm) F-3509 A;
Festival (45rpm) F-3510 A;
Fest Records (45rpm) F-3513-B;
Festival (45rpm) F-3514-B;
National Records (45rpm) N-4537-A;
or any of a number of recorded Hasaposervika.
FORMATION: Short lines of mixed M and W holding near shldrs of neighbors in "T" pos. End dancers have arms outstretched, often snapping fingers on the first ct of each meas. METER/RHYTHM: 2/4 STEPS/STYLE: PAS DE BASQUE: Step (or leap) R swd (ct 1); step L across in front of R (ct &); step R back to place (ct 2). May also beg L and be danced to L with opp ftwk.
Athan Karras writes, ". . . developments in the dance are either called out or are immediately felt with the dancers as you are dancing. In essence, this dance establishes a "dialogue" between dancers, and all are always aiming to follow each other, as opposed to other dances where the leader has greater flexibility."
MEAS MOVEMENT DESCRIPTION BASIC HASAPIKOS 1 Step R swd (ct 1); step L across in back of R (ct 2); 2 Step R swd (ct 1); close L to R without wt (ct 2); 3 Step L swd (ct 1); close R to L without wt (ct 2). This motif may be eliminated. When it is danced, it is often danced only as an introduction. BASIC HASAPOSERVIKOS 1 Step R swd (ct 1); step L across in back of R (ct 2); 2 Step R swd (ct 1); bring L to R ankle (ct 2); 3 Step L fwd (ct 1); raise R fwd with bent R knee (ct 2); 4 Bringing R out and in back of L in an arc, step R in back of L (ct 1); step L in back of R (ct 2); 5 Step R swd (ct 1); close R to L without wt (ct 2); 2 Step L swd (ct 1); close L to R without wt (ct 2); PAS DE BASQUE VARIATION 1-4 Repeat action of Basic Hasaposervikos, meas 1-4; 5 Pas de Basque R; 6 Pas de Basque L. WRAP VARIATION 1-2 Repeat action of Basic Hasaposervikos, meas 1-2; 3 Step L fwd, raising R fwd with bent knee (ct 1); pause (ct 2); 4 Step R across and to the outside of L, "hugging" L ft with R ft so that ft are crossed (ct 1); shift wt to L in place (ct 2); 5 step R around in back of L, "wrapping" L so that R toe is next to the outside of L heel (ct 1); step L around in back of R, "wrapping" R so that L toe is next to the outside of R heel (ct 2); 6 Step R swd (ct 1); close R to L without wt (ct 2); 7 Step L swd (ct 1); close L to R without wt (ct 2). HEEL-SLAP VARIATION 1-2 Repeat action of Basic Hasapikos, meas 1-2; 3 Releasing hand hold, clap hands in front of torso (ct 1); bringing R heel up to the side with bent knee, slap outside of R heel with flat of R hand (ct 2); 4 Raise R in front with bent knee (ct 1); pause (ct 2); 5 Placing R across and to the outside of L, "hugging" L ft with R ft so that ft are crossed, pivot a full turn CCW on balls of both ft, shifting wt to R and ending with L crossed over R (cts 1-2); 6 Step L swd (ct 1); close R to L without wt (ct 2). Several other variations may be danced.
Copyright © 2012 by Dick Oakes