Dance or xoros has always been a central part of the Greek identity, from the times of Homer, through Byzantine times, to today. Due to its deep emotional roots, Greeks have historically used dance in a vast array of purposes; connecting to the divine, preparing for war, celebration, and mourning. The one string that connects all these themes is strengthening of communal ties.
Generally speaking, Greek dance can be broken down between two genera; folk dance and taverna dances. The Spirit of Macedonia mainly performs folk dances from the region of Macedonia as well as neighboring Thrace, Epirus, and Thessaly; regions that share close cultural ties. The group has periodically performed taverna dances as well (such as the famous “Zorba the Greek” dance) for special occasions. Thanks to a tradition of devoted and knowledgeable directors, the group has an on-hand repertoire of over 70 dances and continues to expand as those dances are mastered.
A core tenant of the Spirit of Macedonia’s performance philosophy is to be true to tradition. The dances the group performs are the same, in form, as those danced recriationally in remote villages in Northern Greece. They have been danced in this form for hundreds of years, and the Spirit of Macedonia sees its roll as being the continue of this legacy.