Sirtaki, a popular dance of supposed Greek
origin choreographed by Giorgos Provias for the 1964 film “Zorba the Greek,” is actually a Turkish dance, a top Greek
dance expert told Anadolu Agency on April 9.
“Sirtaki is not a Greek
dance. Authentic Greek
dances are not widely known in Turkey. Thus, dances like sirtaki have a wider appeal here [in Turkey]. I think they are Turkish dances, choreographically,” Alkis Raftis, the president of the International Dance Council at UNESCO, said at the opening ceremony of a dance club in Bodrum, a tourist resort in the southwestern Turkish province of Muğla.
As a Greek
citizen and an ethnographic researcher in the field of dance, specifically in the area of traditional Greek
dance, the professor said he felt at home in Turkey because of his grandmother’s Istanbul roots.
“Ten years ago, Turkey was a very rich country, in respect to folk dances,” Raftis said. Since then, Turkey has made great progress in every dance discipline, according to Raftis.
Raftis said the council received many applications from dance schools in various Turkish provinces, adding that the UNESCO group was keen to improve cooperation in the years to come.