Zonaradiko/Koulouriasto – Greek Thrace

The music is from Greece, and Greeks call the dance –Zonaradiko, but look closely – that’s a Bulgarian dance you already know – Pravo.  The music may sound different, but the dance is virtually the same, and I just figured out why. Read my article on Thrace under CULTURE.  Thrace – the ancient land that’s now in the area where Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece meet.  As you also know, under the Ottomans there were no borders in this area, so Bulgarians, Turks, Greeks, Roma, Armenians, and many others were completely intermingled.

In 1922, an attempt was made to separate these ethnic groups by sending Turks to Turkey, and Greeks to Greece.   Bulgaria also took part in this exchange, sending Greek-speaking Bulgarians to Greece.  They were mostly settled in the area vacated by Turks sent to Turkey (and Bulgarians sent to Bulgaria) – the Greek portion of Thrace.  They brought their dances with them – the most common being Pravo.  However it would not do for these newly-minted Greeks to do Bulgarian dances, so Pravo was given the Greek title Zonaradikos, which means ‘belt’.  That’s how Greeks (and formerly most Bulgarians) held on to each other when doing this dance.  Nowadays they hold shoulders, or do a front basket hold.
At the 2:35 mark in the above YouTube, the dance melody changes and a related dance, Koulouriastos begins.
The description below is based on this performance:
Zon

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