Connecting People, Traditions & Generations

1990, Seattle, WA, Oli Mazi: The Voice of the Greek Orthodox Folk Dance Festival Movement

Festival: 14th Annual Greek Orthodox Folk Dance Festival
Theme: Not available
Hosting Entity: St. Demetrios Parish, Seattle, WA
Hosting Priest: Fr. A. Homer Demopulos
Executive Director: Gus Boutsinis
FDF President: Charles Kyriacou

Sweepstakes Winners: Ionians, Anaheim, CA, directed by Dennis Boxell (Div. I), and Spartiates, Seattle, WA, directed by Katerina Lagos and Panos Theodorou (Div. II).

Honor Performance (Previous Year’s Sweepstakes Winners): Greek American Folklore Society, Castro Valley, CA, directed by Paul Ginis and Kim Efstathiou (Div. I), and Diaskedasi, Modesto, CA, directed by Irene Simvoulakis (Div. II).

Attendance: Although attendance at the FDF was significantly reduced this year—62 dance groups participating—likely due to the festival being held outside of California where the bulk of its constituency lies, 45 dance groups (2 from Arizona, 40 from California, and 3 from Nevada) traveled from outside Washington to join their compatriots in the dance.



Bishops’s Column

His Grace, Bishop Anthony, reiterating his message from last year’s FDF, in light of Sir Chenney’s statement, “Competition is good provided it is the competition of self-transcendence and not the competition of ego-demonstration,” reminds participants that true happiness only comes from putting forth ones best effort in one’s best attitude and spirit.

Letter from Fr. A. Homer Demopulos

At the heart of FDF is love, an emotion for which Greeks have a rich vocabulary: the love of the dance that brings together dancers, directors and families again and again throughout the year in preparation for this weekend; the love of onlookers, parents, and grandparents as they watch their children dance to the rhythms of heritage that beat as loudly in their own hearts, as generations past; the love that sees us reluctant to part as we go in anticipation of the next FDF; all expressions of and stepping stones toward the love which is God’s love of all.

FDF President’s Message: The Larissa World Folk Art Conference, 1989 by Charles Kyriacou

The International Organization of Folk Art (IOFA) a body of UNESCO, hosted their 3rd annual world conference in Larissa, Greece, with the theme, “Folk Dance in Education.” Three of our guests this year: Ketty Karekla Fragiadakis, her husband Andrea, and Professor Alkis Raftis, participated in key roles at this conference.

Among the most superb performances witnessed there were those by groups of villagers demonstrating the natural folk dance, music, and culture of their region—these were “real people” dancing their own dances with no professional choreography or dance step standardization.

Greek Folk Dance Festival ’90 by Gus Boutsinis

The Executive Director of the Festival this year reiterates the power of the FDF in latching onto a vehicle for transmitting Greek culture that not only is intrinsic to it, but potent in its capacity to directly influence the soul and thereby consistently enable a communion between the generations that is enviable.

A Week of Folkloric Activities by Dena Stamos

A report on the Greek Folk Symposium held in Park City Utah (August 1989), hosted by Kathy Politopoulos, president of the International Greek Folklore Society, Marika Psihountas and Athan Karras. The symposium brought together an impressive group of scholars who ran various workshops on dance, music, history, Karagozi (shadow puppetry), and costumes.

About Our Guests from Greece by Charles Kyriacou

President Charles Kyriacou introduces key resources and resource persons (directly from Greece) available to participants at FDF this year:

– Kety Karekla Fragiadakis, lead dancer and costume mistress for 24 years at the Dora Stratou Dance Theater and her husband Andrea, displaying their personal collection of 50 authentic Greek Costumes and conducting workshops on costume and dance;
– Professor Alkis Raftis, Vice President of UNESCO’s International Organization of Folk Art, and President of the Dora Stratou Dance Theater, lecturing on topics concerning folk dance research;
– Mary Vouras—noted for her key role in ensuring the survival of the oral tradition of epic poetry and song (working with Simon Karas—an eminent authority on Greek folk and Byzantine music), and as a dancer, author, and ethnomusicologist in her own right. She will be instructing in island dance.

Recent FDF By-Laws Changes by Charles Kyriacou

A number of changes are reiterated here, including the elimination of the Spirit Award at the 1989 FDF, the creation of the non-competing Division III for dance groups whose eldest member is 8 years and below, the change in requirements for the “honor performance” for Sweepstakes winners, the creation of the First Vice-President position, who serves as President-elect during the second year of his/her term in that office, the 1% point gain to dance groups who have more than 90% attendance at the Preamble Workshops, and, most importantly, His Grace Bishop Anthony’s request of the Council to form a Blue Ribbon Committee to address the evolving needs of the FDF.

Oakland Revisited by Amy Stamison

FDF now holds the record for the largest group (2,300) to have been served a sit-down meal at the Oakland Convention Center.

Heritage Workshops by George Maroutsos

Our ultimate goal is to provide our children with a wider understanding of the cultural framework that undergirds the dance and music that annually brings us together to FDF. As such, beyond the religious workshops that will continue to be provided, we are creating more workshops to immerse our children in the other aspects of our culture.

To this end, this year we will have several workshops including:

– an Iconography workshop where several iconographers of renown will be on hand to work with participants
– the 5th grade class of Enetai Grade School of Bellevue will be presenting Medea by Euripides
– a workshop on Greek proverbs, entitled Paroimies and Gnomika
– a workshop on folk tales, entitled Paramythia
– another on Byzantine Music, and much more throughout the festival.

Amiri: The Unfortunate Woman of the Island of Zante by Takis Kourumalos

In entrusting to Oli Mazi readers the preservation of one more ancient Greek dances: AMIRI – from the island of Zante. The author acknowledges FDF participants to be “a living museum of Greek culture,” forged in the crucible of yearly individual participation, appreciation, and performance.

The Score on FDF by Don and Ellie Hiatt

The Judge Coordinators discuss the characteristics that the judges score in every performance: styling and steps (35%), orientation, quality, and kefi (35%), and precision (20%).

Since 1984, gone are the days when scoring was manually done. A further development this year sees each judge provided with a terminal from which he or she may record their scores on the floor of the competition.

1990 Judges

Dance Judges Division I Semi-Final and Division II Final: Mary Coros, Anna Efstathiou, Nikos Savvides, and Anna Sirota
Costume Judges: Barbara Metallinos
Dance Judges Division II Semi-Final and Division I Final: Louise Bilman, Renée Cleary, John Lulias, and Niko Varvitsiotis
Costume Judges: Vilma Matchette,
Division III: Peter Koucouvelis, Nikie Saffas, and Peter Vlachos

Your FDF Judges by Don and Ellie Hiatt

A short bio of each of the judges is provided.

Division I and II Sweepstakes Commentary by Irene Simvoulakis and Paul Ginis

The directors respectively reflect on the journey from the award reception to the present, and the helpful decision in September to combine forces—The Greek American Folklore Society and Diaskedasi—and together present the Epirus Wedding in singing, dance, and play acting.

 Also found in this edition

– Oakland FDF 1988 Award Recipients
– Honor Roll of Hosting Parishes
– History of the Awards
– FDF90 Group Registration Information
– History of the “Folk Dance Festival”
– The Organizational Structure of the FDF Executive Board
– 1989 Folk Dance Festival Financial Statement
– Meet your 1990 FDF Council and Advisory Board
– Past Humanitarian Award Recipients
– Special Tribute to the Unsung Heroes of the Annual FDF Festival
– This Year’s Participating Dance Groups

Read the 1990 Oli Mazi