chapter  2
29 Pages

Choreographers’ Archives: Three Case Studies in Legacy Preservation Cheryl LaFrance

This chapter uses a processual approach to the study of dance ritual in order to understand the meaning of a dance-the sousta of Rhodes-as embedded in a wider ritual complex for life-cycle transformation. It aims to explore the Greek wedding rituals and the dance performances contained within them on the island of Rhodes. Bonding within the community occurs when children engage in the process of watching and learning how to dance the sousta. The sousta was the main dance of the wedding. The wedding rites were performed for seven days in a particular sequence: display of a dowry, making of wedding bread, adornment of the bridal bed, shaving of the groom, bathing of the bride, dressing of the bridal couple, procession to the church with song and dance, and the wedding feast. The formation of the dance unit was an exciting time for all who were going.