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
One special Ministry of our church is our Hellenic Dance Academy (HDA). We extend our arms to you, embracing you with our Greek heritage and wonderful culture. We are excited to entertain you with a variety of traditional Greek Folk Dances from our mother country, from the mainland to the beautiful islands. Our dances resonate the passion and love of our heritage, and symbolize the millenia of who we are as a people. Our dances will transport you back in time to ancient Greece, and then bring you closer to modern-day society by reflecting our liberation from the Ottoman Empire in 1821 and the celebratory dances that followed! We would like to teach you one very special word, which you can say with us while you watch us dance, and that word is "OPA"! Opa is our way of expressing our passion, of cheering one another on in dance and just simply a great Greek word! The dancers will love to hear you say it and you'll love it too - OPA!!
For more information about the Hellenic Dance Academy of Denver, please contact the church office at 303.388.9314303.388.9314 .
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.
The choir is directed by Dr. James N. Maniatis, Dr. Maniatis is assisted by 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
Brothers John and Angelo Fotopoulos have been playing Greek events for over 40 years in Chicago and the mid-west. When John moved from Chicago to Denver, he met other performers, including guitarist George Andretsos and formed Etho Ellas in 1995. Now in 2016, dependent on venue, the band will feature up to four musicians and gwo vocalists, male and female. Performing this year are John Fotopoulos on Bouzouki, Angelo Fotopoulos on Keyboards, George Andretsos on Guitar, Lou Brown on Bass and Manoulis Opados, singer. The group has performed the Denver Greek Festival 15 times, and will be performing daily on the main stage, playing traditionial and modern Greek music, and will accompany some of the dance groups from the Hellenic Dance Academy.
Live Cretan Music by Marmatakis/Papadakis
Brothers Aleco (Lyra) and Andoni Marmatakis (Lauto) and Pavli Papadakis (Lauto) comprise Marmatakis/Papadais. Performing for the first time at the Denver Greek Festival, the group is from New York City and Salt Lake. They will perform daily with the Idomeneas Cretan Dance groups as well as on the court yard and main stages.