Seminar of Traditional Greek Dances of the Islands and Asia-Minor
Stage de Danses Traditionnelles des Iles et d'Asie-Mineure
Seminario di Danze Tradizionali delle Isole Greche e dell’Asia Minore
Seminar Traditionelle griechische Tänze : Inseltänze, Tänze aus Kleinasien

Tuesday 21 May 2024



CHRISTIANA KATSAROU (dances of Ikaria )




Christiana Katsarou is a teacher of greek language and a greek dance educator. She studied Greek Philology at the Athens University and Theatre in the Drama School Kostas Kazakos. She has been cooperating with various language and culture centres  in Ikaria, Athens and abroad. She has started dancing since her childhood and has been trained in various cultural dance associations and seminars: however she recognizes as her most significant “dance school” the local feasts (“glendia”) of Ikaria, that she had the luck to experience during her stay on the island and later to study as a teacher of a local cultural association (Lykeion ton Ellinidon) and during her field research for her Master’s in Greek Folk Studies and Culture (School of Pedagogics, Athens University). For the last twenty years she has been trying to communicate her love for the island dances of that area while animating dance workshops in various associations or adult training centres abroad as well as in Ikaria. Moreover she has been animating workshops of greek dance for children in Ergastiri Technis kai Politismou working in collaboration with other dancers on techniques of drama and creative development in movement. Among her scientific interests are life stories and narratives using the biographical approach, which was her subject on her Master's thesis " Ikarian feast: a biographical approach". She is currently running a PHD research about the relationship of the foreigner travellers who participate in the phonomenon of dance tourism in Greece focusing on traditional dance events and workshops. (Kapodistrian University - Folkloristics department)


  Christiana Katsarou est née à Athènes en 1976 et a fait des études de philologie, de théâtre et de ethnographie à l’Université Nationale d’Athènes. Elle a fait son MEd a l' Universite d 'Athenes, departement de Pedagogie et Etudes culturelles mènant  une recherche sur les fêtes d’Ikaria. Depuis 1995, elle collabore avec des centres de la culture hellénique, institutions de diffusion de la langue et de la culture grecques où elle  était responsable des activités culturelles et de l’enseignement des danses traditionnelles et la langue grecque. De plus, elle a enseigné à l'association Lykeio ton Ellinidon d'Ikaria de 2000 à 2007. Son travail d’enseignante des danses traditionnelles à Ikaria, ainsi que son implication active dans les fêtes traditionnelles locales ont développé sa passion des danses des îles. Elle a animé et anime encore de nombreux stages en Grèce (Le village de musique) et à l’étranger (France, Belgique, Italie, Allemagne, Suisse, Espagne, Luxembourg, Turquie, Israel, Denmark, Hollande) et est la coordonatrice du séminaire de danses et culture IKARIADANCE PROJECT à Ikaria. Elle collabore avec le Ergastiri Tehnis ke Politismou animant les ateliers de danse aux enfants et adultes. Elle est mariee avec deux enfants, Yorgos-Ikaros et Spyros.  


Christiana Katsarou tanzt mit Begeisterung seit ihrer frühen Kindheit. Sie erhielt ihre Tanz-ausbildung namhaften Institutionen in Griechenland (Zentrum Duncan, Lykeio Ellinidon, Argonavtes Komninoi, Arbeitskreis für Kunst und Kultur u.a.m.).Seit 1996 unterrichtet sie Tanz und griechischen Sprache am Zentrum für Griechische Kultur in Athen, Lesbos, Ikaria.  Sie arbeitet zusammen mit der Cultural Development Society of Lesbos Island (AEOLIS) und dem Programm für die Jungend beim Generalsekretariat der „Neuen Generation“.  Über 6 Jahre hat sie als Tanzlehrerin des Lykeio Ellinidon in Ikaria traditionellen Tänze der Insel unterrichtet. Seit Jahren gibt sie Seminare in Griechenland und verschiedenen europäischen Ländern. Christana Katsarou studierte Philologie an der Universität Athen und Schauspiel an der Schauspielschule „Kostas Kazakos“ und betreibt Forschungen zu Volkskunde und Tanz auf  Ikaria. Sie hat gearbeitet  an ihrem Master-Abschluss, mit dem sie die Ergebnisse ihrer Forschungen präsentieren wird. Sie lebt in Athen und auf Ikaria, ist verheiratet und hat zwei Kinder.  


CHRISTOS THEOLOGOS (dances of Asia Minor and Chios / danses d'Asie Mineure - Cappadoce et Chios)



Christos Theologos has studied Economics and his Master was in Education Management  in the Aegean University, where he is currently working on his PHD thesis. He works as a teacher in the Musical High School of Rhodos Island.  He teaches Asia Minor dances since 1988 and has conducted a serious research on the areas of Asia Minor coast, Constantinople and Cappadocia. Since 1995 he is the president of the cultural association Etepo (Workshop of Arts and Culture) and co-ordinates its many activities including dance lessons, traditional song lessons, ethnographic field research, children educational activities in relation to tradition e.t.c. He is the artistic director of the Performance Group of the association. He has taught in numerous dance seminars in Greece and abroad.



IkariaDance: An innovative program of cultural tourism based on the Ikarian feast culture.

Greek tourism is at its peak, however if one is looking for quality cultural oriented tourism there are few opportunities out there, even if Greece is so rich in tradition and heritage. IkariaDance  is a group of friends and volunteers from Etepo association ( and other cultural associations who aim to connect dance friends from all around the world with the Ikarian values of dance and feast culture. GreekTV interviewed Christiana Katsarou, teacher – folklorist and one of the organisers of the project, in order to find out more about this project that gathers people from around the world to dance together!


What is IkariaDance?
IkariaDance is a Project aiming to promote cultural tourism in the island of Ikaria emphasizing on Greek folk culture (Greek traditional dances, traditional songs and music). Moreover, the workshops of the Project aim to familiarize participants with the everyday life of Greeks, their language and their traditional culture still alive in many aspects, like their feasts, their food culture etc. And above all, Ikaria Dance is a group of friends and volunteers who wish to share their passion for Greek culture with people from all around the world…


Who can participate?
All foreign adults who love Greece, its language and culture can participate in the workshops of the Project. Adults who want to learn Greek dances, Greek songs or the Greek language in an experiential way and want to interact with Greeks, understanding their ideas, attitudes and contemporary reflection on their cultural values. Adults who wish to focus on a deeper experience of the Greek culture and its origins and not a superficial touristic experience.


Why did you choose Ikaria to host IkariaDance?
Ikaria is an island of a unique cultural identity, with a natural unpretentious beauty and a rich historical background. The most important about Ikaria is its people who enjoy and share their local culture in a most generous way, through community activities (like the panigiria, the local feasts) that embrace all generations and all types of people in their society. Ikaria’s people do not organize their life, so to offer a “directed authenticity” to visitors, so that they consume it like in other Greek touristic islands. The Ikarians live their life as they always did and they are kind and hospitable, so to let other people experience their way of life, which focuses on simple things: nice local food and wine, very rich dance and music culture, human contact and respect for simplicity and sincerity.


What aspects of Greek culture do you introduce to the participants?
We introduce Greek dances, songs and music to our friends who are lovers of Greek traditional culture and arts. We also offer workshops in Greek language for beginners and advanced learners in collaboration with experienced teachers of the Ikaria Greek Language project ( . Moreover, we host parallel sessions of conversation classes discussing issues of history, anthropology and sociology in our Greek language Kafenio, with Greeks who are experts in their fields. Visiting local people in their place of work and creation (musicians, cooks, producers of local products, artists etc.), we try to get in contact with their life’s reality, their ideas, their values and their hopes.


What is the idea behind  IkariaDance?
The idea is the real contact with elements about the contemporary folk Greek culture and the way Greeks think and act in their everyday life, elements that are usually not easy to explain to foreigners, as most foreigners have a rather stereotypical knowledge about Greek culture. (syrtaki, souvlaki etc.) This real contact and deeper understanding can only take place through real emotions, real relationships and common life experience, in both an emotive and cognitive approach. So, truly speaking, the idea behind was to share our truth with other people from around the world that are interested to get in touch with that truth. The idea also was to promote more the understanding on Greek islands’ culture and the Greek heritage of Asia Minor music and dances, since when we started the Project in 2004, these fields were not presented in the way we felt they should be presented.


What are your future goals?
Our future practical goals are  to enrich the variety of our workshops, offering more specialized workshops for Greek dance, Greek traditional songs and musical instruments. With Christos Theologos, president of Etepo association and folklore researcher, we plan to participate in university research projects so as to reflect on practices and ideas of our interest in the field of folklore studies and cultural anthropology. We would also be very interested to offer scholarships for  youth of the Greek diaspora and teachers of Greek dance and culture worldwide and we are searching for funds to do so.


How do you see IkariaDance in the future?
Trying to share our culture, we learnt a lot ourselves through all these years, about us, our history, our folk life and art, and above all, our need to preserve our identity with creativity and an open minded spirit. After all these years we have developed an intercultural experience and understanding, realizing the common ground for many of our traditions or practices around the Mediterranean Sea. It was a surprise for us that so many different people from so many different cultural backgrounds become one “parea” (group of friends), one “big family” during the Project. We met many wonderful people from many countries, with whom we have become friends and we care deeply for each other. So, we care to continue sharing our passion for life, music, dance, Greek language and our common ideas about the worlds’ local cultures that we need to experience and learn from.

Our future goals are just to continue this journey together with our friends. And make more friends who can understand our vision of actually experiencing our Greek culture and identity today. We have a long way to go, and the only way to do it well is to do it together!

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