KIOROGLOU - The Dance of the Horses
by Christos on Friday, July 08, 2005
The "Horse Tune", usually known as "Kioroglou", is played in Aghia Paraskevi (Lesvos) when the horses parade through the streets of the village for the feast of Saint Haralambous. This is why it is sometimes referred to as the "the Aghia Paraskevi tune" or "the tune of Saint Haralambous".
The tune is also played in other nearby villages when the "Vodhi" (a bull or young heifer) is taken round to announce a panegyri.
As well as being a dance for horses, people often dance with them, and riders sometimes dance standing on the horse's saddle. It is a popular tune, which is also done as a dance without horsesThe tune itself has an unusual five beat-rhythm, to which the dancers either dance individually (Zeibekiko-style) or in pairs face-to-face, with hands free. There are records of it being danced with a knife, as a mock combat.
There are two main step patterns - "step-step-step-step-hop" and "step-hop-step-step-hop" (the hop is a low bounce, with a lifting of the free foot).
In the picture, a horse is dancing to this tune at the feast of Aghia Triadha, near Kalloni, Lesvos, in June 2005. You can see the little church of Aghia Triada in the background.