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'It's a privilege to wear a traditional Greek costume'

The Greek Lyceum of South Australia has two performances scheduled next month, ahead of its 25th anniversary next year

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04 October 2017

The Greek Lyceum of South Australia held its annual major fundraising event on Saturday 9 September welcoming 170 guests at the Ikarian Hall in Adelaide.

It is the highlight of the organisation's social calendar and a major fundraiser for the school, teacher and secretary of the Lyceum Alexandra Archontis told Neos Kosmos.

"All students of the school were given the chance to perform and entertain the guests with a wonderful performance of traditional and contemporary Greek dances, allowing not only parents and friends to see what they have been learning, but also students amongst themselves," she said.

The hall was set up by the Lyceum committee and students with table centrepieces consisting of specially labelled Greek Lyceum wine, and organic, homemade honey and olive oil, donated by a generous grandparent, made up into a gift package and sold on the night to help raise funds for the school.

"It really is a collective effort of students, their families and the teaching staff to spread our Greek cultural heritage to Greek and non-Greek communities through a number of qualitative performances," explains Archontis, who is also an old scholar of the Lyceum.

She says, "having everyone perform together allows for bonding between different classes and age groups and fuels the strong community spirit and family ethos that the school prides itself on.

The Greek Lyceum of SA is an incorporated, non-profit school of Greek dance and culture, whose principal role is the fostering of Greek dance and culture to South Australian children and adults.

It has a dedicated committee of ex-students, parents, and teachers, and has approximately 60 students, ranging in age from four to 45 years old who attend staged performances such as dance workshops, seminars, lectures, costume and folk art exhibits locally in South Australia and interstate.

The students learn traditional and contemporary dances from all regions of Greece and Cyprus and its diaspora including Pontos, Macedonia, and Asia Minor.

"Next year's concert will be a celebration of our 25-year history in SA and will take our audience on a journey through Greece via its music, dance, and songs. With the funds raised from this year's dance we will be able to organise next year's event to be held in September 2018 and purchase new costume items from Greece for our students," explains Archontis.

The school already has an array of over 100 traditional costumes from various regions of Greece while contemporary outfits are also worn occasionally.

"We have already ordered items for our traditional Thracian costumes, and we have also purchased some black sailors caps for our boys' contemporary costumes for that nostalgic Greek island feel.
"Wearing the costumes is not only a privilege but gives a sense of pride and joy to each of our students, as is the positive feedback we receive from parents and grandparents telling us how proud they feel to see their children dressed in traditional Greek costumes, maintaining their heritage and holding on to the traditions of their ancestors." she said.

"It makes us incredibly proud to watch our students perform with such passion, discipline and ethos."

Students of the Greek Lyceum of South Australia will perform at the Multicultural SA Festival on Sunday 5 November in Rundle Mall, and at the Dimitria Festival on Sunday 12 November at St Dimitrios Church in Salisbury.

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