Hellenic Dancers of NJ to Host Annual
Tavern Night
Proceeds to Restore Folk Costumes Destroyed in Flood

HOLMDEL, NJSaturday, January 22, 2005, the Hellenic Dancers of NJ present their annual Taverna Night fundraiser at Kimisis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church, 20 Hillcrest Road in Holmdel. Beginning at 7 pm, this annual dinner-dance offers traditional Greek food, dancing, music by The Glentzethes, and DJ Pegasus, and a two-part performance by the Hellenic Dancers of NJ. General admission is $50; $25 for students and $20 for children 14 and under; reservations are required.

Proceeds from this event will help the Hellenic Dancers of NJ restore their costume collection which was severely damaged by a flood as a result of a water main break in early October 2004. This priceless collection, created by Hellenics Director and Co-Founder, Eleni Chakalos over the 32 year period that the group has been in existence, consists of 583 handmade, complete regional folk outfits from all over Greece; including Macedonia, Thrace, Northern Epirus, the Greek islands and Asia Minor, and is an integral part of who the Hellenic Dancers of NJ are. Each traditional outfit compliments the music and the dances of the region where it originated, and adds color and cultural significance to every Hellenic’s performance.

This year’s Taverna Night performance will be presented in two parts. Part one will focus on the dances and traditions of Thrace, an area in northeastern Greece that boarders Bulgaria, and will feature the Greek play, Gynaikokratia (Women’s Rule) a comedic play celebrating a yearly holiday in which men and women exchange traditional roles. Part two features dances from various regions of Greece including: Macedonia, Pontos, Crete and the Dodecanese Islands.

For more information about the Hellenic Dancers of NJ, or to make a reservation for Taverna Night, please contact director, Eleni Chakalos, 732.229.3998. This event is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey, founded in 1972 by the Reverend James and Eleni Chakalos, is a group of young adults from all over New Jersey, 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 Eleni Chakalos, co-founder and director, over 300 dances have been preserved and passed on to two generations of Greek Americans. Their traditional music and folk dance selections represent a cross-section of the diverse regional customs of Greece, past and present, performed in authentic ethnic dress. The Hellenic Dancers’ 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. They continue their mission by sharing the richness of their Greek inheritance with younger dancers and the American public, and by assuring a sense of pride and cultural awareness with each generation.