Pontoxeniteas NSW held its annual dance on Saturday, August 24, at The Bellevue in Bankstown.
Pontian youth dressed proudly in traditional costumes, alongside families, friends and supporters of the Association that filled the room, showcasing the intergenerational Pontian community.
The event was attended by a number of official guests including Very Reverend Archimandrite Christophoros Krikelis, representing Archbishop Makarios of Australia; Anastasia Christofilopoulou, representing the Consul General of Greece in Sydney; Esta Paschalidis-Chilas, President of the Federation of Pontian Associations of Australia; Maria Anthony, President of Pontoxeniteas NSW; Eleni Lambousis, representing Pontoxeniteas Youth Committee; Nazareth A Chisholm, President of the Pontian Brotherhood of SA; Harry Tsairis, President of Akrites Australia (Akrites tou Pontou); Nick Chrissostomidis, President of Greek Pontian Society of Wollongong “Diogenes”; Angie Trio, President of the Canberra Association of Pontos; Litsa Athanasiadis, President of Merimna Pontion Kyrion of Oceania; Peter Papoulidis, President of Panagia Soumela Sydney; Con Tseprailidis, President of Pontiaki Estia Melbourne; guest international artists, Panagiotis Theodoridis and Eirini Sachtaridou; among many others.
The night opened with Master of Ceremonies, Marios Anthony and Helen Macris welcoming all attendees.
Fr Christophoros Krikelis offered his blessings and read a message from the Archbishop highlighting the “dedication and commitment of maintaining the flame of Pontian identity” that is an “inspiration for us all.”
A number of speeches were given by Ms Christofilopoulou, Ms Lambousis, Ms Paschalidis-Chilas and Ms Anothy.
Ms Anthony thanked the great initiative of the Youth Committee in raising funds to bring the two Pontian artists from Kazani in Greece.
The dancefloor was then opened with a spectacular performance by Pontoxeniteas junior, intermediate and senior dance groups who showcased all regions of Pontos through dance.
The dance groups were led by teachers Christina Iwannidou, Alexandra Delis and Kosta Papoulidis.
Accompanying the dancers, was a surprise act of young musicians who played traditional Pontian instruments on stage for the first time. They were joined by international artists, Mr Theodoridis and Ms Sachtaridou on vocals. The room filled with pride as they watched the 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation youth perform.
Following the performances, the dancefloor was full from edge to edge with both live music and music played by DJ Harry Apostolidis that continued the ‘kefi’ until 2am.
Earlier in the day, a Pontian Cultural Workshop was held at the Pontian House in Earlwood guided by international guests, Mr Theodoridis and Ms Sachtaridou. The workshop was open to all to attend however there was a strong presence of youth apparent.