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8th Pan Hellenic Festival of Pontian Dances

Ninety years since the Asia Minor Catastrophe and the Exchange of Populations, ninety years of remembrance of a path full of sacrifices and losses, ninety years of proud presence of a great cultural heritage.

This was what was celebrated by 407 Pontian associations, 2,500 Pontian dancers and artists, and 20,000 spectators on October 13, at the OAKA Indoor Sports Hall, at an event that was probably the largest Pontian cultural event of the last 40 years. Pontos is the region of the Black Sea from which thousands of Greeks fled to the homeland.

The event began with a ten minute video by the noted film director Costas Gavras, which summarized the history of Pontos, followed by the recitation of the poem “Parthen” (Pontian for conquered) of Greek Nobel-winning poet Constantine Cavafy by actor Ieroklis Michailidis and then the singing of the epic Pontian song “Parthen i Romania “ (referring to the Fall of Constantinople) by well-known singer George Dalaras, accompanied by lyre player Matthew Tsahouridis, and concluded with a circle of 200 dancers who danced the "Tromahton" (the most characteristic Pontian dance, where the whole body seems to tremble).

The President of the Pan-Pontian Federation of Greece, George Parcharidis, and the President of the Federation of Pontian Associations of Southern Greece and Islands George Varythymiadis, in their greetings, thanked the founder of Aegean and President of the Black Sea Club, Dimitris Melissanidis and other sponsors of the event (National Bank of Greece, OTE, EKO, PPA, Aegean Oil), the General Secretariat of Sports for the concession of the stadium, as well as volunteers, dance instructors and coordinators of all the Pontian clubs of Greece.

Then followed a video greeting from Costa Gavras from Paris and, immediately after, the triumphal entrance to the stadium of 2,200 dancers.
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