Karagouna
(Greece)

[Full notes] [Summary notes] [Other dances & the source code]

Formation Open circle. W-hold & V-hold.
Dance Structure (Ax4 + Bx2 + C + Dx2) repeated throughout the music.
Music Structure Parts A-C 4 counts/bar (4 beats/bar), 4 bar phrases.
Parts A-C 3 counts/bar (7 beats/bar), 4 bar phrases.
Music Speed Part A 65 counts/min.
Music Speed Part B 125 counts/min.
Source Sally Fletcher in Ipswich.

Disclaimer: Mistakes are quite likely in the notes and no guarantees are made as to accuracy. There may be other versions of the same dance or other dances with the same name. Music may differ, particularly in speed, introduction and duration, between performers. The division into parts, bars & counts might not be standard. These notes of the dance are freely distributable (under GPL or CC-by-sa) in so much as the note's author's contribution but the choreography and/or collection were by other people and so their copyright might apply to the dance itself. Better than using notes, go to a dance class where it is taught.

A popular Greek dance which has a variety of steps but is relatively easy to pick up because the first 3 parts are slow & to a straight rhythm so they can be copied and the 4th part is identical to dance Kalamatianos which can be taught before it.

There are many recordings of the music and between them the speed and number of repeats of the parts can vary. For example there is a very atmospheric slow version from the Norfolk Balkan/Klezmer/Ceilidh band Zaramo that has Part A at 44 counts/min which is (Ax4 + Bx4 + Cx2 + Dx2 + pause).

Style: Casual but dignified upright for Parts A to C and rather hurried covering a lot of ground in Part D.

Introduction

Wait through an instrumental introduction (8 bars) and start dancing with the start of the singing.

Part A

Summary: Walk 4 steps then R foot touch 4 times.

Start Facing acw around the circle. W-hold.
1
1 Walk R forwards.
2 Walk L forwards.
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 (R & L forwards) turning to face the centre at the end.
2
1 Touch R foot to the floor to the side infront (lightly, with straight knee and only touching the toes to the ground).
2 Touch R foot to the floor across infront likewise.
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 (touch R to floor infront to the side & across).

Part B

Summary: Swivelling side & close.

Start Facing the centre. W-hold.
1
1 Step R to the side in long step whilst turning body cw to face the direction stepped in.
2 Close L whilst swivelling the body acw to face the centre again.
3-4 Repeat counts 1-2 (R side & L close with swivels).

Part C

Summary: Stamp and cross infront bouncing.

Start Facing the centre. W-hold.
1
1 Close R with a firm flat footed heavy vertical stamp but leave the weight on the L foot.
2& Swing the R leg around across infront in a horizontal circle with heel pointing down & knee straight. Whilst doing this bounce twice on the L (supporting) leg (this is most noticeable in that the R heel moves down & up in each bounce with vertical flexing of the R leg joints).
3 Having completed the swing, step on the R foot with foot now tightly on the L side of the L foot.
4 L close (uncrossing legs) without weight transfer.
2 Repeat bar 1 on the opposite feet (untangling the L leg for the initial stamp, of course). (Stamp & swing L with bounces.)

Part D

Summary: Kalamatianos.

Start Facing 45 deg acw of the direction to the centre.
1
1 R backwards long step.
2 L backwards.
3 Turning to face 45 cw of the centre direction, R to the side.
2
1 L forwards long step.
2 Turning to face acw around the circle, R forwards.
3 L forwards.
3
1 R forwards.
2 Rock backwards onto L foot in place.
3 R close.
4
1 L backwards.
2 Rock forwards onto R foot in place.
3 L close.

The counts 1 are in length ratio 3-2-2 ratio and conventionally written as 7 beats "ONE-two-three Four-five Six-seven".

Each of the Count 1 steps can be optionally ornamented with a small preceding hop/bounce.

Ending

Summary: Part D repeated to the end of the music.

Some recordings have a longer Kalamatianos as a coda at the end of the dance.