Christos Dantis explores cultural and educational programs at Greek Centre in Melbourne

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The multi-talented and widely recognised, Greek singer, Christos Dantis, visited the Greek Centre today. Upon his arrival, he was greeted by Bill Papastergiadis OAM, President of the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM), Antonia Tsamis, Public Relations Manager of the GCM and the GCM staff.

During his visit, Christos Dantis was provided with an overview of the GCM’s history, as well as its diverse multicultural and educational programs that span the entire year. These encompass a broad spectrum of cultural activities, including the Antipodes Festival, Greek Film Festival, live music and dance performances, film screenings, lectures, theatrical productions, and the Community Cup soccer tournament.

Christos Dantis at the Greek Centre in Melbourne.
Christos Dantis showed a deep interest in the cultural and educational programs offered at the Greek Centre in Melbourne.
Christos Dantis and Bill Papastergiadis at the Greek Centre in Melbourne. 3
Christos Dantis at the Greek Centre in Melbourne.

Mr Dantis was taken on a tour of the cultural centre. He was provided with an overview of the use of the building by so many different cultural and educational providers. At the Mezzanine level, he had the opportunity to engage with the school holiday program of the Australian Shakespeare Company.

Mr Dantis was then shown the educational facilities of the Greek centre and had the opportunity to observe a seminar on mentoring of future teachers at the Greek Community language schools. Christos Raspa, the seminar organizer, highlighted its importance to the Greek singer, stating, “This mentoring seminar is a valuable initiative aimed at training young individuals to become future teachers in the GCM schools. This ensures their contribution to the preservation of the rich Greek culture and language.”

Mr Dantis shared his empathetic understanding of the challenges associated with being in a foreign land and the sense of absence experienced by expatriate Greeks. He shared a personal connection, revealing that he has three brothers residing in America, and his own son is currently pursuing his musical and artistic endeavours in New York.

Christos Dantis at the Greek Centre in Melbourne.
Christos Dantis at the Greek Centre in Melbourne.

He said, “The greater the distance, the stronger the yearning to communicate and the desire to assert and embrace our Greek identity, serving as a reminder of both personal and cultural roots. I do believe that that the cultivation of the Greek spirit is deeply rooted in the family structure. This familial bond serves as a conduit for preserving traditions, fostering a continuous link to the philosophy and values of being Greek, regardless of one’s international location. It is through these connections that the Greek spirit perseveres, overcoming challenges and contributing to national pride through shared struggles.”

Mr Dantis also offered an interesting perspective on developing music programs on students abroad, which incorporate the connection with Byzantine music. He asserted, “I think implementing an educational and training program on Byzantine music would be an ideal approach to reconnect the children of expatriate Hellenism with our cultural roots. Greek music schools have successfully adopted a comparable music education program.”

Christos Dantis and Bill Papastergiadis at the Greek Centre in Melbourne.
Christos Dantis and Bill Papastergiadis at the Greek Centre in Melbourne.
Christos Dantis and Bill Papastergiadis at the Greek Centre in Melbourne.
Christos Dantis and Bill Papastergiadis at the Greek Centre in Melbourne.
Christos Dantis and Bill Papastergiadis at the Greek Centre in Melbourne.
Christos Dantis and Bill Papastergiadis at the Greek Centre in Melbourne.

Mr Papastergiadis expressed his gratitude to Mr. Dantis for his sincere interest in the GCM’s activities. He remarked “We appreciate Christos Dantis’ visit and the positive influence he has had on our community. It is an honour to have him with us today, as our community maintains a direct and close connection with talented and esteemed artists from Greece. Greek music serves as a vital connection between language and cultural.”

The artist dedicated his song “To Palio Mou Palto” to all Greeks in Australia. He stated, “This song mirrors our collective consciousness. It encapsulates our awareness and values, representing the principles we were born and raised with, some of which may be overlooked as we navigate our journey.”

Through his visit, Mr Papastergiadis showed to the singer the replica of the Parthenon Marbles that had been installed on the Greek Centre balcony façade and they have been endorsed by the Greek Ministry of Culture. The extensive history and remarkable accomplishments of the GCM left him with a lasting impression.

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