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Dance Looks to Art for Inspiration

Part 4: Dancing Girls and Daggers

My preconceived ideas about Greek classical dancing evaporated when I discovered that there was a thriving trade circle at that time, dominated by the shipping winds, which resulted in a melting pot of cross-cultures. This meant that the Spartan dancing girls entertaining the Trojan Princes in Menelaus’ palace may possibly have been captured during one of the many wars and their dancing style might have had a strong eastern influence.

In response to my quest for ‘steps’ Lesley showed me a Minoan wall painting of a dancing girl with her braided pigtails splayed out as if she were turning vigorously and an array of extraordinarily old pieces of art that gave me some indication of how people moved and celebrated in those days. Acrobatics featured very strongly, and we both resolved to try and feature an example of a tomb painting that depicted a dancer in a complete crab-like back bend over a dagger being held up towards her spine.

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