Dr.Alkis Raftis - Dance Historian, Sociologist, Engineer, Political Sociologist, Manager
I started researching dance in Ancient Greece around 1980. My first text appeared in the book The world of Greek dance, published in 1983 in Greek, later translated to English, French, Italian, Polish and Spanish. In 1991 I organized in Athens under this theme an international congress which stimulated many researchers to turn to this wonderful subject, its proceedings remaining as a comprehensive source of information since. An offspring of that congress was the Study Group on Ancient Greek Orchesis which has been functioning since within the Dora Stratou Dance Theatre under the direction of Dr. Anna Lazou. The Study Group has produced numerous publications, lectures, performances, classes and workshops, and continues as the international focal point for anyone interested in the subject.
After publishing a compilation of texts by ancient writers, as well as a collection of articles by modern ones, my ambition was to publish an album with illustrations: vase paintings, reliefs, statues and mosaics. This proved to be a very costly project, so I opted for presenting the material in a series of websites. The first one was dedicated to sculpture. The second is the present one, containing images as well as texts and serving as a pivot for other works. The third website is dedicated to recreations of ancient Greek dance. Hopefully other websites will follow, either by researchers in our team or by others, exploring particular aspects of this inexhaustible theme.
After the lower cost, the main advantage of a website is it can be updated. Since my aim is to present a collection as complete as possible, it is inevitable that new items will be dscovered with time; they will be added in view of establishing the complete corpus - same with texts.
My secret hope for this website is to serve - more than offering a useful tool to researchers - as a tool in creating a movement for ancient Greek dance, an impetus proportional to the success of Greek folk dance. Choreographers in other forms of dance need only inspiration to create, while choreographers and teachers of ancient dance forms need to study a considerable amount of resources before setting their imagination free. It is to them and to their dancers that this website is dedicated.