Levendia-X performs dances from all over Greece. The dance curriculum for Levendia-X expands every year so that new material can be added to revitalize existing suites. While the group is coordinated by one Artistic Director, Levendia-X has developed relationships with other instructors that have training in specific regional dances to diversify their knowledge and performance base.
Koutsos - A dance from western Thrace. Koutsos gets its name from the style of its steps which makes the dancers look like they are limping "koutsevoun". Like most dances from Thrace, men dance first in the line, followed by women.
Zonaradikos - One of the most widely known dances, that is to say, it is recognizable and known inside and outside of Thrace. It takes its name from the word "Zonari", or belt that the dancers hold on to.
Bougatsas - In the city of Florina, the first dance of the wedding dinner is led by the koumbaro (the best man), followed by the groom and bride, any engaged couples and young people. The wedding dance is called "Bougatsas" or "Aravoniasmata" and is named after the bougatsa, a type of bread, and circular in shape, which was made the days preceding the wedding ceremony. The bougatsa is carried by the koumbaro as he leads the dance. When he is finished, it is passed on to the bride and groom, who pull at it in a fashion similar to a wishbone. The person whoends up with the larger piece of the bread is said to "wear the pants in the new household". Everyone present at the wedding ceremony is encouraged to partake in the eating of the bougatsa so that the bride will always be satiated or full.
Bella Olympia - A dance from the town of Goumenitsa in the Kilkis area that is danced by women alone. Olympia was a very beautiful and fair (bella) girl, famous for her beauty in the region. Therefore, the young men of Goumenitsa wrote this song about her beauty and fairness and the women danced it for them.
Gaida - Originates in Florina and takes its name from the instrument that accompanies it, the Gaida (a primitive Balkan bagpipe). Gaida is traditionally danced by men. It has a slow and heavy movement at the beginning, speeding up at the end. The elders usually danced it.
Pousnitsa - A men's dance from western Makedonia. Pousnitsa means "someone who is bent or kneeling down". In the olden days, the men danced it inside a pan "tapsi", the dancer would fall on his knees inside the pan. Pousnitsa is one of the most impressive and dynamic dances of Greece. The dancers do a lot of knee bending, turns and falls to their knees. It is a free-holding and free-moving individualistic dance.
Levendikos - The most popular dance of Makedonia. It takes its name from the word "Levendis". To be called a Levendi is to be accorded the highest of compliments. For to be a Levendi is to be top quality, a fine, upstanding man, a brave man, a generous man.
Kori Eleni - A quick-paced, lively dance from Florina. This dance is also called Elenitsa.
Raikos - A dance from Naoussa and Edessa in western Makedonia. It is also called Paitouskino and Raiko Koukouraiko.
Makedonikos Antikristos - A lively dance performed at he groom's home before leaving for the wedding ceremony. The dance takes its name from the word "antikristos" which means "face-to-face" referring to the fact that partners dance facing each other, mirroring each other's steps.
Tsopanopoula - A dance originating in Imathia, home to Alexander the Great. Tsopanopoula is usually performed by men alone except at weddings when women join in.
Boules - Carnaval, with its gaety and merry-making and topsy turviness, is one of many pre-Lenten rituals. In Naoussa, Carnival features the Boules. The bride or boula is played by a man dressed as a bride. Also featured are the "yiannitsari", a group of Greek men, turned Turkish spies,wearing the"foustanella", or Greek kilt, masked, with their breast pieces of florins, which create sound. The sound created by the florins was said to repel evil. During Carnival, in periods of enslavement or occupation, the Greek Freedom fighters dressed as "yiannitsari" to come down out of hiding from the mountains, slip past authorities and do their revolutionary work.
In the dance, one can see:
- Leaping three times, which is a greeting
- Quivering of the body, displaying strength and gallantry
- Sounding of the florins, which frightens evil
- The knotted hanky on the wrist, which ties up evil
- And the raising of the sword, expressing an oath of freedom and the struggle for liberation.
Endeka - Originates in Kozani. During the Turkish occupation of Greece, the Turks had imposed an 11 pm curfew. As 11 pm approached, it is said that the Greeks would leave their gatherings at the cafes, dancing this dance. Hence, the name became known as Endeka (Eleven). The dance is also called Skorpios (scattered) because the dancers are not restricted in their movements, not having to dance in a circle.
Fisouni - A dance from Preveza. Mainly danced by women, with hands held on the shoulders. Fisouni was named for a certain wind that blows in Preveza, and this is why it has a faster tempo than most other Epirus dances.
Paramithia - A dance from the town of Paramithia. Often danced at weddings.
Kostilata - A dance from Western Thessaly and Epirus. Dancers sing the song "Psila Stin Kostilata" as they dance. Kostilata is also known as the dance of Pindos, a very tall mountain in the area.
Pogonisios - A dance originating from the area of Pogoni. It means "slow and smooth".
Tsamikos - A dance quite popular with men. Originating in Epirus, Tsamikos means "of the Tsames", wearers of the "Tsameka", a white kilt. Tsamikos is considered to be the Pan-Hellenic dance for men since one can find it being danced in every region of Greece.
Kangeli - A dance from Thessaly. Kangeli is a very lively and jumpy dance with many turns. Kangeli means "turn". It is danced in couples, free-style.
Mperati - A dance popular in both Thessaly and Epirus. It is danced as a syngathisto antikristo (in couples facing each other). The dance contains many "kathismata" or knee-bends.Newly married couples often dance Mperati after their nuptuals.
Island Syrto - Comes from the most common style danced everywhere in Greece. On the islands, syrtos takes on more of a Ballos form, more melodic with an all-forward movement to the right. It is often danced at weddings.
Ikariotikos - A dance from the island of Ikaria. The locals pronounce it "Kariotikos".
Patima - A very lively dance from the island of Limnos.
Plataniotikos - A dance from the village of Platanos on the island of Samos. It is named for the song it accompanies.Ikariotikos - A dance from the island of Ikaria. The locals pronounce it "Kariotikos".
Pirgousikos - A lively dance from the village of Pirgi on the island of Chios. It is danced on the night of the wedding ceremony.
Sousta Rhodou - A dance from the island of Rhodes. It is the favourite dance of the locals and is the first dance of the wedding reception. The dancers' arms are crossed in a chain or "alisida". Sousta is named after the movement of its steps called "soustarisma". This style is also found in the dances of Crete.
Issios - A dance from the island of Kalymnos.
Gaitanaki - A dance from the island of Rhodes. It is also called Vaitani.Gaitanaki is danced while singing, with the arms crossed in a chain handhold. Theword "Gaitani" refers to the ribbons that are sewn on the woman's outfit. Some say,the ribbons are symbolic; each colour represents one station in the life of the woman (i.e. marriage, children, etc.). That way, looking at her, one could read immediatelyher personal history. (Raftis, 1992)
Syrtos - A dance from the island of Crete. It is also called Chaniotikos since it originated in Chania. The syrto has eleven steps and is danced in the various regions with minor differences.
Pendozali - A dance from Crete. Pendozalli means 5 steps and was originally danced by men, hence its dynamic and very masculine style.
Malevisiotis - A dynamic dance from the island of Crete. It is also called Kastrinos and is the oldest dance of Crete. Malevisiotis is danced mainly in the central region of the island, the areas where the Minoan civilization flourished.
Vlaha - A dance from the island of Naxos. It is a Mardi Gras (Apokriatiko) dance, which began the festivities of the night.
Kalamatianos - A dance that is named after the title of the most popular tune representing this dance type and rhythm, "To Mantele Kalamatiano". The Kalamatianos belongs to a general class of dances called "Syrta" of which there are amny, everywhere in Greece.
Tsakonikos - A processional dance from Tsakonia, which moves in the shape of a snake or "labyrinth". This shape or figure is found on many ancient vases, wall paintings, and is talked about in the literature as the path Theseus used to leave Knossos.
Ais Georgis - A dance from the Ionian Islands that is accompanies the song with the same name. On the island of Kerkyra (Corfu), the dance is very European in musical flavour. Women dance it while holding handkerchiefs varied in colour and with large patterns. Ais Georgis is a wedding dance. Many say the dance was brought to Kerkyra by the Paxons.
Syrto - A lively couples' dance that is very popular on the island.