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Catherine Kambouris, 21, James Volis, 19, Andonia Derlis, 21, Peter Apostolopoulos, 18,
and Katerina Stavidis, 17, are preparing for the National Multicultural Festival.
Photo: Matt Bedford
Greek culture at its best
Canberra's Greek community is preparing high-
flying Hellenic dance performances for the 17th
annual Glendi at the National Multicultural
Cyprus Community president Georgia
Alexandrou said the Hellenic culture was
famous for its infectious and vibrant celebration
and this year's Glendi on Sunday would be no
"Glendi in English means festival
celebration," she said.
"The key ingredients are food, dancing and
music which all bring about kefi, the Greek
word for joy or loving life."
Greek-Australian comedian George
Kapiniaris, of Wogs out of Work and Acropolis
Now, is set to return to perform at Canberra's
Glendi for the second time and will surely have
crowds in stitches.
Festivalgoers can have their fill of sumptuous
souvlaki, traditional spit-roasted lamb
kontosouvli and grilled haloumi and Cypriot
Mrs Alexandrou said honey-soaked Greek
donuts (loukoumades) were a big hit and each
year more than 5000 servings were gobbled up
Anyone wanting to test their love of Hellenic
culture can take part in the loukoumades eating,
Hellenic dancing or plate breaking
Hellenic dance teacher Koula Diamand said
all ages, from kindergarten through to university
aged students, were preparing to perform at the
She said the seniors' performances included
some impressive figoures -- choreographed
kicks, jumps and tricks in the air.
Senior Hellenic dancer Peter Apostolopoulos
has mastered several figoures after 13 years'
instruction and said he loves to showcase the
"Glendi is about showing Canberra, really
Australia, what Greeks are about," he said.
"Being Greek is not about having a down-
spiralling economy, or even what is going on in
What people discover is that we are good,
proud people who are passionate about our
Group welcomes new year with dance
ACT Chinese Australian Association
Chinese Folk Dance Group dance to
celebrate Chinese new year at the
upcoming National Multicultural Festival.
A talented troupe of dancers will add a touch of
oriental folk style to Canberra's Chinese New
The community will farewell the bygone year
of the horse and with colourful performance and
lunar festival-fun welcome in 2015, the year of
Chinese Australian Association project
liaison officer Bing Luo said dance was a great
way to share Chinese culture with the broader
"It's really something different," she said.
I think people like our colourful costumes
and the music."
The group incorporate music and dance styles
from some of China's 56 ethnic groups.
"Every ethnic group has their own dance
style, music, costumes, language, customs and
tradition," Ms Luo said.
It will be the fourth time Chinese folk
dancing has performed at the National
Multicultural Festival, but it's the first year the
group will perform on both days of the event.
"On Sunday we will perform some of the new
dances," Ms Luo said. "One is a Dai ethnic
dance, the other is called the Golden Butterfly
She said the all-female troupe would perform
a dance of new beginnings on Saturday and
tackle some of the tougher choreography on
Sunday using the fans to create the flutter of
butterflies on stage during the Golden Butterfly
"It's a bit faster and you have to stick
together," Ms Luo said.
"Every dancer has the same speed and it's
very co-ordinated -- the movement we make is
like that of one person."
Ms Luo said dance was not only good
exercise for members but the association had
been provided a grant to establish a referral
service and share aged care information with
Chinese-Australian seniors in their community.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - 6
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