Each year along with many different Greek delicacies, the Denver Greek Festival highlights the Greek love of song and dance. Below is a list of this years dancing and live music performers. A full schedule of the weekends performances can be found here.
Hellenic Dance Academy of Denver
In 1975, under the direction of Elaine Kostikos-Southall, the Hellenic Dance Academy was formed with only 25 dancers. The group was called the Denver Hellenes. Throughout the years the groups popularity grew. The Assumption of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Metropolis Cathedral of Denver is proud to have one of the finest Greek Folk Dance programs in Denver. Over 120 dancers ranging from kindergarten (age 5) through college age/young adults. Five individual groups represent that number. The Dance Academy proudly displays a variety of dances and costumes from all parts of Greece. The dancers are taught the intricate steps & variations to various dances from throughout Greece, the origin and story behind the dance as well as costume origin for the national costumes of Greece, the foustanella and the amalia.
The high school and adult groups display the majority of the performances throughout the city. However during the festival, held every year during the third weekend of June, all groups perform. The groups, both past and present, have had the pleasure of displaying our Greek culture throughout the state at such events as the Taste of Colorado, the Jerry Lewis Telethon, numerous private parties, elementary, middle & high schools, assisted living residences, nursing homes, local television news & talk shows on all channels as well as competed in a national dance festival in California. The groups have been featured in the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News as well as other local newspapers. Finally, the groups have been part of festivals in neighboring states such as Wyoming & Nebraska.
The dancers raise money throughout the year to defray the expenses of their traditional handmade costumes, music, workshops and provide funding support for various projects at the Assumption Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
For more information about the Hellenic Dance Academy of Denver, please contact the church office at 303.388.9314.
Idomeneas Cretan Dancers
The Idomeneas Cretan Dance Group has been dancing at the Greek festival in Denver for 11 years. They are part of the church dance ministry and belong to an independent philanthropic association called the Pancretan Association of America. The group focuses on dances from the island of Crete. The ages of the dancers in the Idomeneas Cretan Dance group vary from 6 years old up to adult dancers. Cretan dances are very intricate, and have several variations depending on the region of Crete where the dances came from.
The most exiting dances are the Maleviziotikos, danced by the adult group, and the Pentozali which is performed by the middle school. The Cretan costumes are replicas of those worn in the Chania province of Crete, which is on the Eastern side of the island. Many of our dancers have been to Crete for foreign exchange programs, and dance seminars. They know much about the history of Crete and it's people. Outside of the church events, the Idomeneas Dance group participates in school assemblies and other Greek festivals in the Rocky Mountain region.
Assumption Cathedral Choir
The Cathedral Choir is an ecclesiastical choir that sings for the Sunday Divine Liturgies and major feast days throughout the church calendar. The choir maintains a greater than forty year-old tradition of presenting a Christmas musical program to the Denver community. This annual program has expanded to include the Angel Choir (pre-school and grade school), St. Cyril Junior Choir (middle school and high school), the Bell Choir, and the Greek School. After Christmas, the choir adds a wider variety of music to their program and travels throughout the United States to promote fellowship and showcase the talent of our Greek-American composers. In 1993, the choir represented the Archdiocese of America in a summer tour of Greece. A concert tour in Toronto, Canada is planned for September 2008.
The choir is directed by Dr. James N. Maniatis, Dr. Maniatis is assisted by Dr. George T. Demos, Chrysanthy Therianos, and by accompanist, Connie Maniatis.
Choir Recordings: The recordings of the choir can be purchased from the cathedral’s gift store, Rejoice Books and Gifts. Choir recordings include:
- Choral Music of the Liturgical Year (1999)
- Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom by Theodore Bogdanos (2001)
- Divine Liturgy of the Greek Orthodox Church by Steve Cardiasmenos (2005)
Live Greek Music by Etho Ellas
Etho Ellas has been together for over 14 years and is comprised of
musicians from Chicago, Denver and Las Vegas. Dependent on venue,
the band will feature up to four musicians and two vacalists, male and
female. Etho Ellas has entertained the Denver Greek Festival 13 times. Featuring John Fotopoulos from Las Vegas on Bouzouki, Angelo Fotopoulos from Chicago on keyboards, and George Andretsos from Denver on guitar. Joining them are Georgios Dimas from Chicago, Nadia from Las Vegas and Manolis Opados from Denver all on vocals.