Which Greek or citizen of the world does not know the syrtaki? And who has not connected it with Mikis Theodorakis, but also with Anthony Quinn in the movie “Alexis Zorbas”?
What many may not know, however, is that this particular dance, for which there is no man who does not boast if he dances well, was invented only to be danced by the Hollywood star in the film by Michalis Kakogiannis, to his music. Μίκη Θεοδωράκη.
< p>And this is simply because the sirtaki dance is not an old Greek traditional dance.
The choreography of the piece, written by the invisible hero of the film, George Provias, who is considered the creator of the dance, contains Elements from traditional Greek dances, such as Hassaposerbiko and Hasapiko.
, to teach him to dance.
Who was the real choreographer of the dance” syrtaki “
As for George Provias or – as they called him -” Nureyev of folk dances “, it was for a simple man, who was a butcher in the profession.
In the mornings he worked in construction and in the evenings, to complete his day job, he went and danced folk dances at the “Paradisos” center in Baroutadiko, as an area of the Municipality of Egaleo used to be called. There he met Theodoros Kalpaxidis, a turner by profession and Dimos Abatzoglou, a confectioner, and they formed a dance trio, which made popular the folk dances in the nightclubs.
Provias, until a few years ago, lived forgotten in a poor house in Egaleo. His dance, however, lives to this day, although when we see and hear this particular piece, we automatically think of Anthony Quinn.
Beyond the dance that became a symbol of Greece, there is Of course, the wonderful music of the great composer, Mikis Theodorakis.
The famous sirtaki was also released as a single, together with “Lay your mattress”. Undoubtedly, this is one of the most popular pieces of the Greek composer and has been included in many of his albums.
After being heard in the movie “Alexis Zorbas”, it made a lot of sense, which is why it was adapted or performed by musicians of various genres and nationalities. Many of the adaptations succeeded and entered various charts.
Alexis Zorbas: The role that marked Quinn's career
Anthony Quinn, an American actor of Mexican descent, appeared in more than 150 films, but was recognized worldwide with the role of Alexis Zorbas, the earthly and full of life hero of Nikos Kazantzakis, brought to the big screen in 1964 by Michalis Kakogiannis, in music. of Mikis Theodorakis.
In his long career he won two Oscars and was twice nominated for the top film award.
In 1964, he played the role of Alexis Zorbas in his film of the same name Michalis Kakogiannis, a role that marked his career and earned him an Oscar nomination.
Quinn returned to the stage in 1982 to tour and appear on Broadway in a revival of Zorba's music version. In the meantime, he had starred in two other Greek-themed films: Guy Green's The Magus (1968), based on John Fowles' novel of the same name, and The Last Tycoon. (The Greek Tycoon) written by Nikos Mastorakis, referring to the love affairs of Aristotle Onassis.
Anthony Quinn died on June 3, 2001, in Boston, at the age of 86.