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Greek Football Star Dazzles Turkish Crowd with Zeibekiko Dance

Bakasetas zeibekiko
Tasos Bakasetas dancing the Zeibekiko of Evdokia in front of thousands of Turkish fans. Video screenshot

Greek football star Tasos Bakasetas danced a zeibekiko wearing the Greek flag in front of thousands of Turkish football fans who celebrated winning the championship on Saturday evening.

Bakasetas, who plays for Turkish 2021-22 champions Trabzonspor based in Trabzon, Pontus brought the Turkish crowd to a standing ovation as he masterfully danced the “Zeibekiko tis Evdokias,” one of the most famous instrumental themes in Greek music. In English, it is translated as “Zeibekiko of Evdokia.”

It was composed by Manos Loizos in 1971 for the movie Evdokia, by Alexis Damianos. It is, along with Zorba the Greek, one of the most recognizable Greek melodies.

Bakasetas who plays as a forward for Turkish Süper Lig club Trabzonspor also captains the Greece national team.

He started his professional career coming through the youth system at Asteras Tripolis. He played for several Greek clubs including Panionios and AEK Athens before he moved to Turkey in 2019 where he played for Alanyaspor. On January 30, 2021, Trabzonspor snapped up the Greek midfielder who made a significant contribution to winning the championship for the club.

The history and tradition of the Greek dance zeibekiko

It is difficult to dance the Greek zeibekiko mainly because it has no set steps and no particular rhythm. An improvised dance that expresses the feelings of the individual dancer, it requires an inner emotional intensity to propel the movement.

These are feelings of defeat and sadness, of life’s despair and unfulfilled dreams, and of the bad luck you foresee; it is the darkness at the end of the tunnel.

After all, this is a dance with origins in Asia Minor, the place of displaced Greeks, a long-lost homeland, along with lost lives and fortunes. Hence, it is almost a religious experience not to be taken lightly.

Originally, zeibekiko was strictly a man’s dance, but women have begun to take part in the expressive movement, breaking gender roles.

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