|Dancing On The Off Beat|
REVIEW by Willard Manus
Joan Carol Friedberg is a folkie. Her love for Greek traditional song and dance has taken her numerous times to Greece where, armed with camcorder and tapedeck, she has explored far corners of the country where few foreigners--much less single women--have ever ventured.
Now her unique
adventures have been published in a new book, DANCING ON THE OFF BEAT--TRAVELS
IN GREECE. Its emphasis is on the country's music, but the book also investigates
other, deeper aspects of Greek life. "The things that meant the most
to me in Greece were the things I could not carry home," she writes.
"I wanted to have a square lined with cafes, hugged by a massive,
overhanging plane tree, where I could expct to have a chance encounter
with friends on any given afternoon. I wanted to sing along with friends
who knew all the words to all the same songs, I wanted to dance with people
like Greek villagers, who never had to count or snap their fingers in
order to keep in step."
Whether searching for a gathering of the Sarakatsani in the mountains of Epirus, or trying to track down polyphonic Albanian music in Delvinaki, or listening to an old woman reminisce about her horrific adventures in the Greek civil war, Friedberg kept her eyes and ears open--and her tape recorder spinning. Now she has culled everything she heard and saw during her time in Greece and set it down in this deftly-written, instructive and deeply-felt memoir. (Xlibris Corp., 888-795-4247 or orders@Xlibris.com)