An unforgettable evening
'Greek Days' in Strasbourg
M.B.G, Newspaper, Dernieres Nouvelles, 23/01/1989
Complete communication through song, music and dance. 'We have been working for years non stop. Faced with the competition from pop music, we are trying to sustain the knowledge of traditional music and dance'. Domna has the silver hair of a nice granny, but her youthful drive and her sense of rhythm drew us, as in the myth of Ariadne, to an unforgettable Saturday evening in a theatre ready to burst from the crowds.
Last year, for the celebration of the 'Italian Days' we had conceded a small place to a group that resembled Italians. Greek popular heritage was represented with greater dignity: by a group of professional musicians under the direction of Domna Samiou and the Greek Folk Dance Group ‘Eleni Tsaouli’.
Yes, they are amateurs. One is a taxi driver and they are all working people who rehearse two to three times a week in Athens. But they are amateurs in the polite sense of the word.
There were of course certain moments of hesitation. But the diverse array of dances that were presented, the beauty of the original costumes and the exquisite way the music combined with the singing, won over the audience.
Some, already content with the very rich first half (which finished around 22:15'), missed the songs and dances of Asia Minor. Crete, with it's dancers in white boots, blue trousers and fringed scarves was a great success. The dances from the Dodecanese, the Cyclades and Macedonia, brightened our souls. The beautiful voice of Domna Samiou, the nasal sound of Petro's clarinet and Niko's sandur solo, forged a beautiful musical landscape. However the most wonderful event was after the interval, with the male Pontian dancers.
There were only four, all dressed in black, with cartridges and guns slung round their waists. With the powerful and perfectly synchronised stamping of their heels, they made the stage shake. They would jump all together, stamp their feet to a strange rhythm, and cry out wild commands.
These male dances were very Greek and were overflowing with vitality, but at the same time were very controlled. The great talents of modern choreography which team past this stage, pale distinctly in comparison.
On Saturday January 28th, Domna Samiou and fifteen other artists from her group, together with the great popular musicians Vouis and Vamvakaris accompanied by their musicians, will perform at the 'Palais des Fetes' at eight in the evening. A little more sun in the heart of the winter.
Translated by Alexander Seferiades
An unforgettable evening
M.B.G , Newspaper , Dernieres Nouvelles , 23 January 1989