Orpheus Hellenic Folklore Society Newsletter
Spring 2003
Previous issues of Lyra
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Easter Traditions Come Alive during the Festival of Greek Music and Dance 2003
FDF 2003
Orpheus Youth Update
Spotlight on Orpheus Dancer

Easter Traditions Come Alive
Festival of Greek Music and Dance 2003
Festival of Greek Music and Dance 2003Over 800 guests filled the auditorium of the Christian Heritage Academy to attend the Festival of Geek Music and Dance 2003: Easter Traditions and Customs. Based on the comments received at the conclusion of the concert the consensus was clear: the final result had exceeded many expectations!

Festival of Greek Music and Dance 2003 The concert, organized by the Orpheus Hellenic Folklore Society in conjunction with SAE of America, featured a group of folk musicians from Greece led by Christos Tsiamoulis as well as songs and dances performed by the Orpheus Dance Troupe. This is the third consecutive year that these organizations have collaborated to present this Festival, which is booked through the World Music Institute of New York.

Festival of Greek Music and Dance 2003 One of the greatest challenges facing the directors of the Orpheus Dance Troupe was to determine the theme, content, and artistic arrangements for this year's concert. Among the new elements introduced this year were the use of multiple sets of costumes, props, stage settings, varying lighting sequences, slides and sound effects. Over 160 costumes passed across the stage worn by the 90 participating members of the Orpheus youth and adult groups!

George Kotsos and Nancy Harmanda visit Chicago A great deal of research went into presenting the appropriate sequence and content of the material, which had a seasonal as well as regional character. Other than the Troupe's own resources a significant contribution was made by instructors from Greece. Our thanks and gratitude goes out to Hara Deligiannis, Giorgos Kotsos and Nancy Harmanta. Giorgos and Nancy's visit to Chicago, following the dance conference in Atlanta, was instrumental as they guided us through every step of the program through countless hours of meetings and instruction! We are fortunate to enjoy the assistance and friendship of instructors of this caliber!

Festival of Greek Music and Dance 2003 Both His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos and Chris Tomaras, vice president of SAE-American Region, congratulated the Orpheus Dance Troupe for a remarkable presentation and were touched by the enthusiastic participation of so many young children and adults. Among the audience members were many that traveled from afar including: Kiki Papadimitriou of the Troupe Hellas of Atlanta, Georgia; Irene Savvas of the Lykeion Chapter in Boston; Dora Zafiropoulos with other fellow instructors from the group Paradosi of Toronto, Canada; Dean Bellos and fellow members from the group Kyklos of St. Louis. Their presence not only honored this event but also signifies the close ties that the Orpheus Dance Troupe has established with groups throughout North America. Locally, there was, again, a strong contingency from the Apollo Dance Troupe of Aurora. The support of the group's directors, Dr. Michael Kontos and Eva Kontos, has been instrumental in all three concerts that OHFS has hosted.

Many individuals dedicated a portion of their busy lives to the success of this unique event. The dedication and love for Hellenic Culture have been the foundation of the Orpheus Hellenic Folklore Society. Equipped with the lessons learned from this experience we look forward into the future with encouragement and excitement, representing the Greek American community with a sense of responsibility and pride.

Click here to see more pictures from the Concert
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FDF 2003
2003 FDFAnyone who has been involved with a Greek folk dance group can attest to all the hard work that goes into running one. Watching 105 dance groups perform competitively in the course of just three days can be an overwhelming experience! It can also be a frightening one if your job is to judge their performing ability for the first time.

2003 FDF That was the scene of the 27th annual Folk Dance Festival (FDF) that took place last February at the Hilton Hotel in Anaheim, California. FDF is organized by the Greek Orthodox Diocese of San Francisco and involves the participation of dance groups from the Diocese's parishes and beyond. The competition involves two divisions with separate categories that are divided based on age and ability. 

2003 FDF This year's participation at FDF exceeded 1,700 performers. Among them were three groups that represented Greek communities from Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Last year, a similar festival was established in South America under the auspices of regional Diocese.

The level of quality demonstrated by many of the participating groups, of all ages, was impressive. Some of the material that was presented required extensive preparation and research for an authentic presentation.

2003 FDF Interacting around the clock with fellow judges, directors, organizers, musicians, and participants was an exciting experience. Their apparent degree of dedication and pride in the promotion and preservation of Greek folk traditions was inspiring. There is no doubt that, after 27 years, FDF continues to evolve in order to ensure a strong future. Differences concerning factors inherent in competition and judging criteria or various organizational and procedural matters will always exist. But this event is by far the largest annual gathering of Greek folk dance enthusiasts not only in North America but even in Greece. It is up to all participants to make the most of the experience.

It was an honor to serve as a judge and doing so reflects positively on the Orpheus Dance Troupe as a whole. Since the Troupe's participation in the Seattle conference last year, interaction with directors of dance groups from the west coast has intensified and has fostered the sharing of resources and exchange of ideas.
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Orpheus Youth Update

Summer session 2003

Register now!


Tuesday, July 15 5:30 - 7:00 pm

Wednesday, July 16 5:30 - 7:00 pm

Thursday, July 17 5:30 - 6:30 pm

Tuesday, July 22 5:30 - 7:00 pm

Wednesday, July 23 5:30 - 7:00 pm

Thursday, July 24 5:30 - 6:30 pm


New Church
Multipurpose Gym
74 Park Drive
Glenview, Illinois


Greek Festival

Sts. Peter & Paul Greek Orthodox Church

Friday, July 25

Registration: $60

For more information, contact

Kostas Economou: 847-729-3406

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Spotlight on Orpheus Dancer...
Dimitra Bounas

Chicago, Illinois

Parents/Family From:

My father was born in the region of Tessalia. When he was 18, he and his parents moved to Athens.

My mother grew up in Chicago and is of Polish descent.


8th grade student at Socrates Greek American School.

Time Dancing with Orpheus Group:

I am completing my second year. 

Thoughts on Dancing:

Greek dancing allows me to express my Greek heritage and gives me the opportunity to learn dances from all parts of Greece. This is very special because I don't think there are many people in Greece who have this experience. (Greek) dancing makes me feel happy, energetic, proud to be Greek. And most importantly it frees the spirit, which is very important to a Gemini. 

Favorite Dance:

Although I may not have mastered it yet, at the moment my favorite dance is Koutsos. It's hard to believe that I didn't like it in the beginning but now, the opposite is true. I especially like the arm movements and my favorite thing is the music. It is so lively. I also love just listening to it!

Most Vivid OHFS Memory:

My most vivid memory would have to be all the preparation for The Festival of Greek Music and Dance 2003. It was nerve-wracking, but the performance was fun and exciting all at the same time!

Favorite Greek Dish:

My favorite Greek dish would have to be giouvetsi and my mom's spanakopita

Favorite Place in Greece:


Hobbies/Sports/Other Interests:

Singing, acting, (Greek) theater, reading, and dancing. 

Where I heard about Orpheus Dance Troupe:

I heard about the Orpheus Dance Troupe from my close friend and classmate, Maria Karras. 

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Last revised:
01/01/2013 11:02 PM