Athan Karras

ATHAN KARRAS' name is synonymous with Greek dance. After dancing with major dance companies and researching Greek dance as an exponent of his career, he has successfully produced and presented folklore programs and events in the U.S. and Canada. Mr. Karras is featured in many folk-dance manuals and is represented in the recently produced multi-cultural video by Human Kinetics. Currently, he is an instructor of Greek Dance and Culture at Loyola Marymount University, and is the U.S. coordinator for Mazoxi, an annual Greek dance conference held on the Island of Crete, which he helped organize with Kety Karekia Fragiadakis and Andreas Fragiadakis. In the early sixties, he founded the Intersection Folk Dance Center in Los Angeles, which subsequently became the landmark of folk cultures and a unique center for Greek music and dance.

Mr. Karras has paved the way for performers in the U.S. and was instrumental in bringing the Parthenon Dancers of Greece to the U.S. and Canada for several tours. He has conducted tours to Greece taking groups to dance festivals along with visits to ancient sites. He has also produced and presented several major Greek Festivals at UC Berkeley, UCLA, and Loyola Marymount University and created ethnic folklore programs for the Southern California Heritage Society. He was also the founder and served as Director of Laografia International Greek Folklore Society.

Mr. Karas has appeared on Broadway, television, and in motion pictures—starring in one of the first Greek-American films, Dark Odyssey, now available on DVD. He is the author of numerous articles on Greek dance and music that have appeared in several major ethnic and national publications. Currently, he has a regular column on dance in the monthly periodical The Hellenic Journal. He has successfully compiled several recordings and dance videos to further widen the scope of Greek folk music and dance appreciation.

Mr. Karras is a member of the Dora Stratou Greek Dance Theatre and Foundation; a member of the Board of Directors for the AMAN Folk Ensemble; an Advisor and Director of the Folk Dance Programs for the California Traditional Musical Society "CTMS" which honored him with the Lifetime Achievement Award; a lifetime member of The Hellenic University Club of Southern California which also recognized him for his contributions to Greek Culture and Heritage for his production of Kapetan Mihalis by Nikos Kazantzakis; he was named Man of the Year at the Levendia Conference, a Greek Folk Festival in Tarpon Springs, Florida; and he received the 2001 Athenagoras I Humanitarian Award which is the highest award given by the Greek Orthodox Folk Dance Festival of the Western Diocese.

Phone: (818) 609-1386
FAX: (818) 609-1386
19300 Palomar Place
Tarzana, CA 91356

Athan Karras

Selected Experience


• General Hospital ABC TV

• Young and Restless CBS TV

• Knots Landing Lorimar

• Thornbirds Warners

• Skyjack-Hijack (Movie of the Week) MTM

• The Labyrinth (Movie of the Week) Universal

• Run for Your life Universal

• Garrison’s Guerillas MGM

• Combat MGM

• Empire Paramount

• Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea 20th Century Fox

• T.H.E. Cat Paramount

• Death Valley Days Paramount

• Purification of T.S. Williams N.E.T. Play of the Week

• Volpone N.E.T. Play of the Week

• Telly Savalas Special Universal

• Divorce Court KHJ TV Syndicated

• Superior Court KTLA TV Syndicated

Motion Pictures

• The Postman Always Rings Twice Lorimar

• Nomads Lorimar

• Target. Columbia

• Sunnyside AIP

• Zeus-Crime Killer Indie

• Rednight Indie

• Dark Odyssey Indie/Columbia

• Our Immigrant Heritage Indie/Doc.


• Loss of Roses Broadway

• Garden of Sweets Broadway

• Most Happy Fella Broadway

• Pal Joey Broadway

• Oedipus Broadway

• Tis a Pity She’s a Whore Group Theater/ LA

• Peribanez Group Theater/ LA

• Deathwatch Off -Broadway

• Zoo Story Off -Broadway

• Tonight, We Improvise Off –Broadway

• Ilya Darling Off-Broadway

• Freedom or Death Off-Broadway

• Rose Tattoo Stock Tour

• Golden Fleece National Company Tour

• Caesar & Cleopatra National Company Tour

Education & Additional Experience • New York University (Theater Arts), New York, NY

• Studies with Lee Strasberg, Uta Hagen, Herbert Berghof, Lee Grant, Joseph Anthony

• Group Twenty Players (Repertory theater-actor/director) Wellesley, MA

• Musicals, Stock, and Concert Theater Off-Broadway

• Narrator, Announcer, Master of Ceremonies, Voice Over, Dubbing and Lip Sync, Radio Drama, Audio, Commercials, Videocassette

• Lead Dancer for the Dora Stratou Greek National Folk Ensemble

• Promoted the North American tour of the National Folk Ensemble of Greece, the Parthenon Dancers

• Researched Ancient Greek Drama: Guest lecturer at various universities and cultural centers

• Researched and produced Greek Folk Music and videos

• Founder of the Greek Language Theater of Los Angeles; Directed and starred in Kapetan Mihalis by N. Kazantzankis

• Greek Cultural Consultant and Technical Advisor for Film, TV, Commercials, and Stage Productions

Interests & Memberships • Founder of the Intersection, an international folk art center in LA

• Instructor of Greek Dance and Culture at Loyola Marymount University

• Member of the Board of Directors for Aman Folk Dance Ensemble

• Member of the Advisory Council for California Traditional Music Society

• Cultural Consultant for the Greek Heritage Society of Southern California

• Member of the LA Cultural Arts Committee

• Founder/Director of the International Greek Folklore Society

• Lifetime Honorary Member of the Hellenic University Club


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