Middlesex County.- Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission and the Folklife Program for New Jersey present a Celebration of Greek Dance with the Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey, Saturday, September 30, 2006 at 2 pm, at the New Jersey Veterans Home at Menlo Park, 132 Evergreen Road, Edison. This free program is funded in part by Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission, New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Celebration of Greek Dance is a rare opportunity to experience a number of traditional Greek folk dances, some rooted in antiquity, as many of them are not danced outside the region or community in which they originated. The performance will include Serenitsa and Moskof – militaristic dances from the region of Pontos; Gaida and Nizamikos from Makedonia – which focus on precision and composure; and jovial dances like Kalymnikos and Ageranos from the islands, just to name a few. The dances, combined with the authentic regional folk attire worn by the dancers and the traditional music, will truly transport the audience to the different corners of Greece, offering a window to the customs practiced in each area.
The Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey, founded in 1972, is a group of young adults who are first, second, or third generation Greek Americans, and are dedicated to perpetuating their heritage through enthusiastic performances of the regional folk dances of Greece. Under co-founders, Father Jim and Eleni Chakalos, over 300 dances have been preserved and passed on to two generations of Greek Americans. The Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey continue their mission by sharing the richness of this inheritance with younger dancers and the American public, and by assuring a sense of pride and cultural awareness within the Greek community. The troupeʼs desire to share their cultural identity and the pride that they feel for their Greek heritage is evident in the precision and enthusiasm that they bring to each performance.
Celebration of Greek Dance is offered free of charge, however registration is required. To register and to request directions for this Folklife program please call the Commission, 732.745.4489. Persons with hearing impairments may call 732.745.3888 (TTY users only), or 711, the New Jersey Relay System. The NJ Veterans Home is an accessible site; an Assistive Listening System is available and will be in use during the program. An American Sign Language interpreter can be provided without charge with a two-week advance request. In the case of rain, this program will be held indoors.
The Folklife Program for New Jersey was instituted in 1990 to broaden the appreciation and availability of folk arts, folklore and folklife within Middlesex County; identify and preserve folk traditions expressed by the people of Central New Jersey; provide a forum for the presentation of New Jersey and regional folk artists, recognized by their community for their excellence; encourage public involvement in the folk arts through educational programming and cross-cultural exchange.