Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Dancing in the Corfu streets

And with the last day of carnival came music and dancing, games and singing all across the island.
In Agios Magikades, the children got hold of the bell ropes, a man dressed as a cow helped grill the souvlaki, a complaint was made to the DJ when Turkish music wove its way around the plateia and, as daylight faded and turned into night, my very own Zorbas gave me my first Greek dance lesson.

'You have to feel the music,' he said. To dance is to live. A purist of the Corfiot dance, he took it all around the world. Joy of joys, he once performed at Sidmouth.

He bowed to a greater skill, however, when he introduced us to a large, yellowing moustache trying its best to conceal the bulk of a smiling, elderly man called Nikos, whose English stretched to 'very good' and 'problem'.

'When he was younger,' Zorbas said. 'he could do the scissors.'

'Very good,' Nikos winked. 'Problem.'

But it was a sedate and graceful dance in the plateia that night, reminiscent of a pair of pigeons performing a mating ritual on the Liston in Corfu Town.
And the tumblers of wine piled up on the tables outside the kafenion as we danced to the zambeta. And then we found our feet again as the music changed to seventies disco and a middle-aged woman who had hardly said boo to a goose all evening got up and turned the village plateia into the Studio 54 dance floor in a Michael-Jackson-meets-John-Travolta routine that was so jaw dropping I completely forgot to film it.

Meanwhile Mr Grigg was cowering inside the lean-to lavatory as a group of schoolboys let off five firecrackers all in a row.

As he emerged, shaken and a little stirred, The Village People kicked in with YMCA, leaving us with no alternative but to take to the dance floor, flanked by Zorbas, the Jackson-Travolta love-child and two small girls.

I had a sense of Queen's Diamond Jubilee deja vu from Lush Places back in the summer.

At the table in front of us, Nikos the scissor-dancing man raised a bottle of Retsina.

'Very good,' he said. 'Problem.'

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

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