Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Photo #11: The Longing

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One of my favourite images from my stay on the Greek island of Ikaria, over the summer of 2008. There are no prizes for guessing what this group of teenage girls are looking at, as they prepare to take part in a summer dance festival on Saturday, June 14, 2008, in the Ikarian village of Rahes.

I have uploaded several videos of performances from this festival to YouTube, including the one embedded below in which you catch glimpses of these same girls performing during the evening.

The film is a compilation of many of the dances performed that night. The festival took place on the village basketball court, under lights that attracted hundreds of moths and other airborne insects which fell constantly onto the heads of the audience below. This probably explains why only half the lights were turned on during the performances. Unfortunately, this also made it extremely difficult to get good, well lit footage of the dances.

The music you hear throughout the film is the traditional Ikarian dance known as the Ikariotiko. The music is performed here on a Tsampouna, an instrument made out of goat skin, which has obvious links to the Scottish bagpipe and the gaida. The player is probably Eva Kratsa from the Aegean Island of Mikonos. That’s her in the last frame of the video just before the final credits.

A full, unedited film of the Ikariotiko dance that ended the festival can also be found on YouTube under the name, This Island Life: Rahes Festival Ikariotiko.

Photograph: The Longing, by Jim Lesses

Location: Rahes, Ikaria, June 2008

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