Flyer in English

Orpheus 2007

Kalamata, Greece

Flyer in Greek

Lyra Newsletter - "before" the trip     Lyra Newsletter - "after" the trip

Press Releases of local newspapers - pdf file in Greek (3.7 MB)       Chicago Greek Star article

Greek Circle Magazine article    Omogeneia Newspaper Article                   

Vasilopita Video 2008 (QuickTime 12 MB)        Read the reflections from the trip

Day 1 Pictures Day 2 Pictures Day 3 Pictures Day 4 Pictures Day 5 Pictures Day 6 Pictures Day 7 Pictures
Kalamata Arrival
Tour of the Fortress at Methoni

Swimming at Finikounda Beach
Lykeion ton Ellinidon Kalamatas Workshops (#1)

Performance in Finikounda
Orpheus is Received by Kalamata Mayor's Office

Tour of Ancient Messini

Performance at Mavromati Village
Tour of Diros Caves

Swimming at Stoupa Beach

Lykeion ton Ellinidon Dinner
Lykeion ton Ellinidon Kalamatas Workshops #2

Performance at Kastro Amphitheater - Kalamata
Tour of Ancient Olympia

Farewell to Kalamata Dinner

The Orpheus Hellenic Folklore Society recently made its third trip to Greece since its inception in 1989. This summer, approximately two hundred Orpheus members and their families visited the Peloponnese, specifically the city of Kalamata. Highlights included three successful dance and choral performances, meetings and workshops with local officials and dance groups, as well as several excursions around the Kalamata vicinity.

Accompanying the Orpheus dance troupe were members of the Chicago Hellenic Choir, directed by Eftihia Papageorgiou. For over two years, Orpheus has been working with Ms. Papageorgiou, practicing and presenting a variety of traditional and modern Greek songs, adding another dimension to the dance troupe. Selections included “Gerakina” , “Thalassaki Mou” and “Tora Pou Pas Stin Ksenitia” performed to live music, courtesy of Ms. Papageorgiou and the Orpheus music ensemble.

The troupe’s first performance was in the town of Finikounda. On their way to the beach side venue, the performers marched through the streets singing a traditional Greek song, “Eis Ton Afro Tis Thalassas” as onlookers applauded, cheered and sang along. Mr. Michelis, Mayor of Methoni and Deputy Mayor, Mr. Kourvelas were present for the performance. The crowd enjoyed the lively, animated performance while Mayor Michelis congratulated the troupe on their efforts in preserving Greek culture and traditions abroad.

Click here for more pictures from the Finikounda performance

Another performance was given in Ancient Messini, in the village of Mavrommati. Besides the energetic singing and dancing, members of the troupe gave insightful and moving speeches about what this experience meant to them. Many of the dancers, particularly the younger ones, commented that this trip was exceptionally meaningful to them. Not only were they first-time visitors to a country with such a remarkable history, magnificent scenery and centuries old traditions and culture, but more importantly it was an opportunity to proudly give a dynamic, traditional performance in the birthplace of their grandparents and parents. Mr. Demetrios Kouvelakis, President of the Cultural Association "I Arxaia Messini", expressed similar sentiments as Mayor Michelis, and thanked Orpheus for participating in "Ithomaia 2007", their annual festival.

The last, and perhaps most remarkable, performance took place in Kalamata, at the famous Kastro Amphitheater. At the conclusion of the performance, the troupe received a standing ovation from the audience, who was impressed with the professional, enthusiastic, and moving production. Afterwards, the Mayor’s office hosted a generous reception for Orpheus, their families and friends.

Click here for more pictures from the Kastro Performance

Members of the Kalamata Branch of the Lykeion Dance Group met with Orpheus for several workshop sessions. In addition to demonstrating variations on the traditional Peloponnese dances, Kalamatianos and Tsamikos, Director Tasos Mihos also taught the troupe some local songs to accompany the dances. Likewise, Agis Tsakalakos introduced versions of the popular Tsamikos dance, along with Sygathistos from Thrace. Representing material from Kalimnos, Anna Mavrou expertly exhibited traditional dances from this island. Along with Nikos Petroulias, Ms. Mavrou also conducted youth group dance sessions. The Lykeio instructors commented on Orpheus’ strong and extensive dance skills, and how organized and disciplined the group was, especially with so many younger members.

In addition to swimming in the warm waters of the stunning beaches of Stoupa and Finikounda, Orpheus members had the opportunity to visit various archeological and natural wonder sites around the Kalamata area. The itinerary included excursions to Ancient Olympia, Methoni, Diros caves and Ancient Messini.

Extensive media coverage featured the troupe in local newspapers (Elefteria, Simaia, Foni, Epikairotita) radio (ERA Kalamata) and television channels (NET Messinias, Star TV). Orpheus President Yannis Economou and Youth Group Coordinator Bessie Grosso were invited to City Hall to meet with the Mayor of Kalamata, Mr. Panayiotis Nikas and Deputy Mayor Mr. Theofanis Kleidonas. Also present was ex-Vice President of S.A.E of North and South America, Mr. Christos Tomaras. Mayor Nikas was pleased that Orpheus chose Kalamata as its destination this year, and congratulated the troupe on its efforts in preserving Greek culture and traditions in the United States.

Last Revised:
06 Jan 2013 10:47 AM