Previous contributions from:

Laura Shannon

Dancing in the Footsteps of the Muses: Traditional Ritual Dances of Mount Olympus

For thirty years I have been researching and teaching women’s traditional circle dances of the Balkans and Near East, which have been danced for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years, and are still danced today at weddings and village celebrations. The method I’ve developed is to compare common motifs in archaeological finds, embroidered textiles, dance patterns, and song words. I see these four forms of women’s artistic expression as modes of unwritten communication, transmitting ‘hidden information’ which, in the words of Marguerite Rigoglioso, ‘may have been deposited for safekeeping in those great repositories of the forbidden – myth and folklore – where they have remained veiled in plain sight for two millennia.’

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