Hellenic Dancers of NJ 35thAnniversary
Celebration Gala Sold Out

EDISON, NJ - Due to the overwhelming response from the general public and supporters of the organization, the Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey 35th Anniversary Celebration Gala scheduled for 29 April 2007 is sold out! A waiting list is being taken; for more information, please contact Cheryl Bontales, 732.796.1006.

The Hellenic Dancers 35th Anniversary Celebration Gala is dedicated in memory of co-founder, Very Reverend Fr. Jim Chakalos, who passed away in September 2006. The event features a two-part performance by the Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey and its alumni member. The performance will include a Traditional Greek Village Wedding, and various, little-seen dances from the regions of Macedonia, Thrace, Pontos, Crete, the Greek Islands and Cyprus. Music will be provided by DJ Pegasus, and the Golden Greeks II Express featuring Lazaros Paraskevas (vocals) and George Manioudakis (clarinet).

Throughout the evening, the Very Reverend Fr. Jim Chakalos will be honored and remembered through images and anecdotes. Since co-founding the dance troupe in 1972, Fr. Jim was extremely active in the organization until his passing in September 2006. He was not only co-founder and chairman of the board, but took an active role in the lives of the dancers by nurturing their continuing interest in Greek folkdance and their Greek heritage, and by encouraging a sense of family and friendship within the group.

Read earlier press release about gala, "Hellenic Dancers of NJ Celebrates 35th Anniversary-Gala Dedicated to the Memory of the Very Rev. Fr. Jim Chakalos, Co-Founder-29 April 2007 Edison, NJ."

This event is funded in part by the Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey, Inc., New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey Historic Trust the Coby Foundation, Ltd, and Ayco Charitable Foundation.

Founded in 1972, the Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey is a group of young men and women, 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 founders, Fr. Jim and Eleni Chakalos, over 300 dances, songs, and traditions from mainland Greece, its islands, Cyprus, and Asia Minor, have been preserved and passed on to two generations of Greek Americans. This outstanding troupe is nationally recognized for its presentation of Greek traditions and has performed at the following events: Dukakis Presidential Rally; Inaugural Festivities for former President Ronald Reagan; Statue of Liberty Weekend Grand Finale; 20/20 ABC Television Program; Queens College of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies Benefit; O. Elytis Chair of Modern Greek Studies at Rutgers University Benefit; Union County College Folk Arts Festival; the NJ State Ethnic and Diversity Festival; for Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew upon his first official visit to New Jersey; and Greek Heritage Day with the Metrostars; Closing Ceremonies of the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece; and the 2006 Centennial Epiphany celebration in Tarpon Springs, FL.

(Posting date 24 April 2007

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