ZEYBEKIKO

Greek

 
PRONUNCIATION: zey-BEH-kee-koh
 
TRANSLATION: Two breeches
 
SOURCE: Dick Oakes learned this dance from Oliver "Sonny" Newman who presented this dance at the 1964 Santa Barbara Folk Dance Conference.
 
BACKGROUND: Zeybekiko (Zeimbekiko), it is said, originated around İzmir (Smyrna) in Karamania (Western Turkey) where the people are actually descended from the Greeks. The name "Zeybek" is of Arabic-Persion origin and means "two breeches," referring to the type of short, full trousers common to these people. The dance, as it is known today, probably descended from slow, heavy footed war-like dances indicating close combat with short swords or daggers. The dancers turn and move about with outstretched arms resembling the wings of birds in flight. Because of this similarity to an eagle hovering over its prey, the dance is sometimes called the "Dance of the Eagle." Zeybekiko has become less a dance of man's warfare and more an outward expression of man's inner struggles, whatever they may be.
 
MUSIC: Any Zeybekiko (Zeimbekiko) of slow to moderate tempo, such as:
Festival (45rpm) F-3512 A
RCA (45rpm) 47g 2146
Phillips International (P.I.) Records (LP) PI-LPS-33, side 1, band 2
Nina PolyDisk (LP) PLS-201, side 1, band 3
Grecophon (LP) GR 307, side 1, band 3
 
FORMATION:Zeybekiko is a freestyle solo or couple dance. When done as a solo dance, it is always performed by a man. When done as a couple dance, it is usually performed by two men with one man taking a minor or less active role. As as a couple dance, partners face each other within an imaginary circle. In modern times, the dance is sometimes performed by a man and a woman.
 
METER/RHYTHM: 9/8
 
STEPS/STYLE: Because Zeybekiko is strictly a freestyle dance, the following description is not, nor does it pretend to be, "the dance" Zeybekiko. It does, however, provide somewhat basic "movements" and tries to give the dancer a "key to open the door" into the feelings of the people as they dance Zeybekiko.
 

MEASMOVEMENT DESCRIPTION

 
 INTRODUCTION - None.
 
I. BASIC
 
1Facing ctr of dance area or facing ptr, step R swd (ct 1); close L to R with ball of R ft, touching floor (ct &); pause (ct 2); step L in front of R (ct &); step R back in its previous pos (ct 3); pause (ct &); step L swd (ct 4); pause (ct &);

step R swd (ct 5); close L to R with ball of R ft, touching floor (ct &); pause (ct 6); step L in front of R (ct &); step R back in its previous pos (ct 7); pause (ct &); step L swd (ct 8); pause (ct &);

step R swd (ct 9); pause (ct &).

 
2Repeat action of meas 1 to L with opp ftwk.
 
3-4Repeat action of meas 1-2 with the following variations:
 
 VARIATION A
 Fast Turn: On meas 3, ct 4, pivot CCW on L with the R coming all the way around to the same spot from which it began the pivot.

On meas 4, ct 4, pivot CW.

 
 VARIATION B
 Slow Turn: On meas 3, cts 8 and 9, step L, beg to make a CCW turn, and finish the turn by stepping R on ct 9.

On meas 4, cts 8 and 9, make a CW turn.

 
II. CIRCLING
 
1Step R fwd (ct 1); pause (ct &); step L fwd (ct 2); close R to L, taking wt (ct &); step L fwd, turning toe to L (ct 3); pause (ct &); beg a CCW turn (if as a cpl, ptrs face each other during turn), step R across in front of L (ct 4); pause (ct &);

step L diag bwd (ct 5); pause (ct &); step R bwd twd original pos (ct 6); close L to R, taking wt (ct &); step R bwd (ct 7); pause (ct &); step L in place but slightly to L (ct 8); pause (ct &);

step R slightly swd, still hovering over original pos (ct 9); pause (ct &).

 
2Repeat action of meas 1 with opp ftwk.
 
III. ROCKING
 
1Step R swd (ct 1); pause (ct &); step L across in front of R (ct 2); rock back on R in its previous pos (ct &); step L swd (ct 3); pause (ct &); step R swd (ct 4); pause (ct &);

step L swd (ct 5); pause (ct &); step R across in front of L (ct 6); rock back on L in its previous pos (ct &); step R swd (ct 7); pause (ct &); step L swd (ct 8); pause (ct &);

step R swd (ct 9); pause (ct &).

 
2Repeat action of meas 1 with opp ftwk, but using Variation B of Fig I on cts 3-4 and 7-8.
 
 Repeat entire dance from beg.
 

 
 DANCE SEQUENCE
 
 While an actual pattern does not exist for this kind of freestyle dance, Sonny Newman suggested the following sequence "to help folk dancers find their way into it." As dancers become more proficient and free, they should "break the mold."
 
  BASIC - 2 meas R and L
BASIC - 1 meas R with FAST TURN
BASIC - 1 meas L with SLOW TURN
CIRCLING - 2 meas R and L
ROCKING - 2 meas R and L
Copyright © 2012 by Dick Oakes