Hellenic Studies Folio #12 from the Center for Hellenic Studies

June 4, 2021

Six female figures dressed in flowing clothing dance with hands linked in an outdoor setting.
"Horae Serenae" (1896) by Edward Poynter (1836–1919). Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Dance in representation and interpretation

  • Which aspects of dance and its ritual contexts did ancient Greek artists encode in the shapes of and paintings on their vases?
  • What power do words have to evoke dance and its regional associations?
  • How have various aspects of ancient Greek dance been an inspiration for modern schools of dance?


Lecture on "Religious Dimensions of Dance on Ancient Greek Vases" by Professor Tyler Jo Smith

Video of approximately 24 minutes.
To watch the video click the link to the Delphic preview festival of the muses page, and once on the page, click on the lecture's title “Religious Dimensions of Dance on Ancient Greek Vases.”

The first slide of the "Religious Dimensions of Dance on Ancient Greek Vases" lecture - key information about the presentation

Αn interpretation by Professor Gregory Nagy of dance representations in association with Sappho

“How a girl dances in an Aeolic way, whether she is wearing sandals or not.”

Εssay of approximately 1,200 words.

Α picture of red-figured hydria pottery depicting girls dancing, attended by an “instructress” and a youth

"In Tanagra: Procession," virtual dance performance staged by Dr. Jeanne Bresciani, with Isadora Duncan International Institute dancers

Video of approximately 10 minutes (watch from 1:01:16 to 1:12:10).

 Procession," virtual dance performance video

"Extra credit" reading:

Read an analysis on "The Circle of Fame: Apollo, the Corps de Ballet, and the Song of the Muses at Delphi," by Dr. Domenico G. Muscianisi

Essay of approximately 4,700 words.

Learn more about the Hellenic Studies Folios and the previous instalments of the series.