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Tripolis - They only dance next to the Greek flag

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"On the 29th of August we go to Limpovissi, for the celebration of St. Ioannis church outside the house of the Greek hero Theodoros Kolokotronis. At six o' clock in the morning we are very proud to put on our costumes and go to the church and have our arms blessed by the priest. Then we bring around the icon and have a memorial service at Kolokotronis's house. And then what? We begin to sing about Kolokotronis and the echo of the gorges gets really creepy".


Huge costume collection

During the last 27 years Maria Karapanos is the president of the Greek Dance Centre of Tripolis, which cultivates in a very scholastic way the Greek dancing traditions, especially those related to Greek revolution of 1821.

It has a huge 02bcollection of authentic traditional costumes that are not being exhibited in show cases, like it happens at most of the folklore museums; they are being wore and soaked with sweat by tireless male and female dancers.

It is about a disciplined and determined dancers’ group, which is referring to Theodoros Kolokotronis as if he's still alive.

As Maria told us: "We ceaselessly dance next to the Greek flag without feeling the slightest exhaust, as if meds have been given to us. We feel that we carry Greece inside us, we feel the huge responsibility and boast, our chest heaving with pride".


There's not a single flaw on them

Sometime ago in Limpovissi, a dancer was wearing dark coloured socks that could hardly be seen at the bottom, through the Evzone's white tights.

Once he realized it he took them off at once 03band danced with his feet bare inside his stiff traditional shoes.

His feet kept bleeding for hours, but he didn't quail.

Another time, a shoe's tuft was detached from the dancer's shoe during the dancing and he was drawn out in seconds with juggling speed.

These unique dancers are not joking, there's not a single flaw on them; they are possessed by a team perfectionism, which is almost compulsive.

Paraskevas Papagiannopoulos, a member of the dancing centre, who comes from Alonistaina of Gortynia, the place where Kolokotronis grew up, told us: "We are totally crazy, but we like it".


Passion for the flag
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When taking part in Greek and international festivals, the dancers of the Greek Dance Centre of Tripolis, always ask the organisers to raise the Greek flag next to them, otherwise they don't get on the platform.

During one of their trips in Romania, somebody took away the flag before their appearance, but they immediately got a new one out of their luggage.

They would also get their arms, but fortunately the arms they carry on them while dancing are very old and non-functional.

They don't go anywhere without having at least three flags with them, out of weirdness.
TEXT-PHOTOS: GEORGE ZAFEIROPOULOS
SOURCE: www.greecewithin.com

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