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Orchêsis Kallinikos

Lillian B. Lawler
Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association
Vol. 79 (1948), pp. 254-267
DOI: 10.2307/283364
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/283364
Page Count: 14
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Orchêsis Kallinikos
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Abstract

The word kallinikos can denote a song, a dance, or a type of flute-music. Obviously, the three elements combined to make a harmonious whole. A study of all the ancient evidence shows that the kallinikos dance can be performed by men alone, by women alone, or by men and women dancing side by side. Its choreography can be freely processional, or rectangular, or in the geranos formation, with the dancers side by side in a line. It can be brief, or it may last all night. It can be in honor of Heracles, of some other divinity, of an athletic victor, of a dramatic victor or prospective victor, of some great hero, or of a military or tactical victory. It has a place in both tragedy and comedy. It has connections with the kômos and the tetrakômos; indeed, the latter may have been one type of kallinikos. In the cult of Heracles as Victor and as Serpent-Slayer there seems to have been a type of kallinikos dance performed by a chorus of young men in women's dress. It may have been performed by initiates, or by a thiasos attached to the shrine. I believe that this dance is portrayed on a famous cylix found at Corneto.

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