Alkis Raftis is the president of the International Dance Council at UNESCO, Paris. He is an avid dance researcher, with an emphasis in the ethnographic study of traditional Greek dance. Raftis attended the Greek Orthodox Folk Dance & Choral Festival (FDF) for the first time in 1991 when it was held in Seattle, WA.
If you’ve ever gone to a Greek Festival and wanted to join in the dancing but hesitated, Kayte Deloma, Los Angeles Travel Expert, has some tips that may make you feel more comfortable. While everyone is welcome to dance, her article on Greek Dance Etiquette, Fun with Folk Dancing advises you to follow a few basic rules to avoid stepping on any toes.
If every picture tells a story, each of these photo posters is a complete storybook. Images from a single Greek Orthodox Folk Dance & Choral Festival (FDF) event were collected and posted on their own boards, which are stored by the Preovolos family. Many familiar faces in these individual photos, including people who are still involved with FDF. Besides being a Who’s Who of FDF for that year, the posters show what it was like off-stage at FDF. You can’t help but feel some of the excitement of those who were there.
Folk dance is not easily defined. In an article on the website of The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, European folk dances are described as typically being associated with “peasant” or “folk” communities, created in groups or alone and informally passed from generation to generation.
By Professor Louis A. Gaitanis, this poem was adapted as the FDF Official Poem in 1984. It refers to a dramatic and inspiring moment in Greek history, and how the act of holding hands transcends the passage of time. “From Byzantium to the western lands…” the poem resonates.