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.
The 44th Annual St. Spyridon Greek Festival in North Park starts this Friday, June 5 and runs through Sunday. Some of us wait all year just for the traditional Greek pastries, freshly baked for the Festival. The aroma of seasoned meat being roasted or grilled is irresistible, too. And the spanakopita is the real deal, not the frozen kind from TJ’s.
Spring and summer are the seasons to eat, drink, and dance your way through Greek festivals across the United States. Typically church-sponsored, the celebrations feature musicians playing traditional Greek instruments, stands with Greek coffee, beer and wine, an agora (marketplace) with Greek specialties, children’s entertainment and the opportunity to learn Greek dancing.