Kastorianos – Greece

Rusulena (roo-soo-leh-NAH) is a Greek folk song that has a dance attached to it.  The song is said to be about a quarrel between a prospective bride and her prospective mother-in-law.  Rusulena is also known as Kastorianos.

Kastorianos means ‘dance from Kastor’, a town and region in Greece on the Albanian border near Macedonia.  Naturally, Kastor has more than one dance, and unfortunately, there are at least two very different Greek dances named Kastorianos.


I can’t find a YouTube of Greeks dancing this in what I consider a ‘living’ situation, Greeks now seem to consider this a performance (1stG) heritage dance, or a children’s dance, though I suspect it was not always the case.  In the old days there weren’t schools, or special activities for children.  They began helping their parents as soon as they were able, and learned their dances by imitating adults.  With the advent of schools, simple adult dances were adopted and adapted by a system with a voracious appetite for patriotic content.

In the adult version – see https://folkdancefootnotes.org/dance/a-real-folk-dance-what-is-it/about/rusulena-ρουσούλενα-kastorianos-greece the basic step is a Syrto, but for the children, the basic step seems to be more of a skipping 2-step.

Here fist pounding has been replaced with clapping

And a simpler version for younger kids.

See also similar dances, the Turkish Damat Halayi, https://folkdancefootnotes.org/dance/a-real-folk-dance-what-is-it/about/damat-halayi-a-turkish-dance/ and the medieval Italian Schiarazula Marazula.

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