Syrtaki is a dance that got out from a movie back in 1964. The movie got a lot of Oscars. That movie script came after a novel. Nikos Kazantzakis' novel "Alexis Zorbas".
The movie director was Michael Cacoyannis. The Syrtaki dancer was the actor Anthony Quinn playing Greek character Alexis Zorbas. Alexis Zorbas was having a boss, an intelectual half-Greek half-English man played by Alan Bates.

So what is that fuzz about Syrtaki dance and melody written for this movie by Mikis Theodorakis? Why a movie left such an impact for so many years? (47y until now)

Litterateur Nikos Kazantzakis was a master of psychographics. He set here a bipolar between two characters and the society around them in Crete, Greece. Ok and what is the point on that?
Remember, in this blog you are trying to understand what Greece, I mean what Greeks, really are thus what they give to other people or stand for.
Just follow the video clips path bellow.
Most of you will recognize the hidden Greek deep inside you. Whether you are from North Pole or Europe or Asia or America or Africa or Australia or wherever. Once, everyone of you were a kid, right?

uploader: ArchieOReyes

uploader’s comment: 32 counts/1 wall Beginners Level Line Dance Series Choreographed by Ira Wiesburd Music: Zorba

Jose Feliciano - Zorba The Greek uploader: ognet

uploader’s comment: Jose Feliciano plays Zorba The Greek

Zorba the Greek sirtaki dance, Mikis Theodorakis, Arena di Verona uploader: MultigramClassical

uploader’s comment: (C) 2004 Multigram Srl Italy The unique existing video recording of Zorba the Greek ballet performed at the Arena di Verona (Aug 1990). Ballet in 2 Acts and 24 figures - Music by Mikis Theodorakis - Based on the novel by Nicolais Kazantzakis - Choreography and Stage Director Lorca Massine -- Main Interpreters: Vladimir Vassiliev, Gheorghe Iancu, Luciana Savignano.

Andre Rieu in London playing Sirtaki greek dance uploader: 8eemou

uploader’s comment: Andre Rieu in London playing Sirtaki

[imdb reference: Zorba The Greek] Below is a 14 video series with the whole original movie (1964). Every video auto-loads one after another. Enjoy.

ZORBA THE GREEK [The whole movie] - Mikis Theodorakis, Nikos Kazantzakis uploader: TheodorakisZorba

uploader’s comment:
ZORBA THE GREEK Zorba the Greek is a novel written by the Greek author Nikos Kazantzakis, first published in 1946. It is the tale of a young Greek intellectual who ventures to escape his bookish life with the aid of the boisterous and mysterious Alexis Zorba. The novel was adapted into a successful 1964 film of the same name as well as a 1968 musical, Zorba. Nikos Kazantzakis: The meaning of the words, art, love, beauty, purity, passion, all this was made clear to me by the simplest of human words uttered by this workman. We must both have been hungry because we constantly led the conversation round to food. "What is your favorite dish, grandad?" "All of them, my son. It's a great sin to say this is good and that is bad." "Why? Can't we make a choice?" "No, of course we can't." "Why not?" "Because there are people who are hungry." I was silent, ashamed. My heart had never been able to reach that height of nobility and compassion. The aim of man and matter is to create joy, according to Zorba others would say to create spirit, but that comes to the same thing on another plane. But why? With what object? And when the body dissolves, does anything at all remain of what we have called the soul? Or does nothing remain, and does our unquenchable desire for immortality spring, not from the fact that we are immortal, but from the fact that during the short span of our life we are in the service of something immortal?" "... the highest point a man can attain is not Knowledge, or Virtue, or Goodness, or Victory, but something even greater, more heroic and more despairing: Sacred Awe! How simple a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. All that is required to feel that here and now is happiness is a simple heart. George Zorbas: Zorba the Greek (film): Cast: Anthony Quinn as Alexis Zorba Alan Bates as Basil Irene Papas as Widow Lila Kedrova as Madame Hortense Sotiris Moustakas as Mimithos Anna Kyriakou as Soul Eleni Anousaki as Lola Yorgo Voyagis as Pavlo (as George Voyadjis) Takis Emmanuel as Manolakas Giorgos Foundas as Mavrandoni (as George Foundas) Pia Lindström as Peasant Girl (scenes deleted) George P. Cosmatos as Acne Faced Boy Mikis Theodorakis: ZORBA THE GREEK (Original Soundtrack) Zorbas: ZORBA THE GREEK (Original Soundtrack) Margarita Theodorakis 15 June at 14:11 - "There is no problem, I give you the permisiion. I am the publisher of Mikis Theodorakis' work and the author of Romanos publishing. I hope that covers you."


Well. Except you were a kid once -like Zorba was a kid all life long- there is one more thing about Syrtaki frenzy. Kazantzakis is constantly playing between life and death, something and nothing, the new and the old, the gay and the serious, the wannabe good and the wannabe bad, the human and the brute instinct, the light and the dark, leaving reader without an answer. This is Kazantzakis pattern or tempo in most of his books.

Maybe Kazantzakis believes there is not an answer at all but an animal called human. Then, having not an answer he is like putting a question such: "what this passing lie we call life is all about anyway?" and throws Zorba on the table:

"A man needs a little madness or else he never dares cut the rope and be free"

That is the meaning of Syrtaki dance and tune. That is what all of these people around the world want to burst out by performing Syrtaki when dancing like kids in dance halls, in tourist tavernas, in bars, even in serious music halls. Then what of that has to do with Greeks? The life of a Greek always has to do with life and death, even when he is not aware of that.
Even a Greek who never attended school, never heard of ancient Greeks or comedy or tragedy, he constantly drifts and plays between life and death issues and decisions. How come? They say this is in the seasons’ rotation in Greece. This is in the nature’s blossom in Spring against loneliness in Winter. This is in Byzantine hymns in church against passionate bouzouki. This is in the hard ouzo or raki or tsipouro, while almost anyone drinks and no one gets drunk. Not for Greeks can drink a lot without getting drunk. Many other people can drink more than Greeks. This is because a Greek, while never told or taught to, does not want to get drunk but only when the sun has set and he has issues about. In the same way, no one knows how it has passed through all, every Greek thinks: "A man needs a little madness or else he never dares cut the rope and be free".

Maybe these aspects are spread in common among Greeks because of the soil of this wild land. I am kidding you, I don’t know. Who knows. Who cares.
Greece All About blog
PS. After Kazantzakis wish this is written on his grave: "I hope nothing I fear nothing I am free"