The hasapiko (Greek: pronounced [xa'sapiko], meaning "the butcher's [dance]" from Turkmen: kasap "butcher") is a Greek folk dance from Constantinople.
The dance originated in the Middle Ages as a battle mime with swords performed by the Greek butchers guild, which adopted it from the military of Byzantine era.
In Constantinople during the Byzantine times, it was called in Greek (makellarikos horos from "butcher"). Some Greeks, however, reserve the latter term only for the fast version of the dance.
The slow version of the dance is called hasapiko vary or hasapikos meaning "heavy" and generally employs a 4/4 meter.
The fast version of the dance uses a 2/4 meter.
It is variously called grigoro hasapiko, makellarios horos, hasaposerviko -- the latter a reference to Serbian and other Balkan influences on this version of the dance.
Hasapiko served as one of the bases for the Sirtaki.
sword dance in Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved July 18, 2010, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: http://www.search.eb.com.proxy-um.researchport.umd.edu/eb/article-9070677