<<MANASIS>> Destination Patrida 2024

11 June, 2024

The time for the single-most ambitious project in our dance school’s history, has arrived!

A ‘dream-come-true’; the only project our dance school has yet to undertake in its uninterrupted 45-year history; the last remaining item on our ‘bucket-list’; and, the culmination of a decade’s worth of planning and preparation.

As Australia’s official representative Greek cultural group, we have ensured our identity and customs have been presented, acknowledged, and recognised with the prominence, dignity and respect they deserve.  Since our establishment in 1979, and through the implementation of choreographic mastery, << MANASIS >> has transcended ‘Greek dance’ beyond its indigenous existence of social expression, onto the international stage, in the mainstream realm of Performing Arts.

Destination Patrida, 2024 has been officially recognised and endorsed by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through the Australian Embassy in Greece, and also through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Greece), by the Office of the General Secretariat of Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy.  Furthermore, we are humbled to have the acknowledgement, support and well-wishes of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, a multitude of Ministers from Federal, State, and Local Government and Opposition, and representatives of the many prominent cultural organisations throughout our community.

First and foremost, we extend our sincere appreciation to the thousands of students and their families, who have graced our dance studios with their presence since our establishment- the foremost reason our ‘dance family’ has continued to grow and evolve, gifting our school’s founder, my father Alkis Manasis, and myself, the opportunity to make our life’s passion, our life’s work.

In recognition of our contribution to the preservation and dissemination of our cultural identity throughout the diaspora, UNESCO’s Council of International Dance (CID) will be formally inducting our dance school as an official member at a ceremony during its 61st World Congress of Dance Research, hosted at the famed epicentre of Greek Dance- the Dora Stratou Dance Theatre in Athens.

We couldn’t have done this on our own, nor did we want to… 

The Famous Fifteen Standing Elena Krillis Alexia Manasis Anastasia Pappas Jana Papas Andrea Menelaou Vikki Antonopoulos Marina Souvlis Paris Fiorito Lily Christopoulos Joanna Vasil Seated Yianni Pappas Michael Michaelides Dimosthenis Manasis Director Instructor Apostolos Nousias Stefan Krnic

As a private dance school, we are not eligible for funding through any government/community grant programme.  To date, we have never received such, and everything we have accomplished is owed to the completely limited support of generous individuals and businesses within the private sector.  Therefore, in turn, we wish to acknowledge and express our gratitude, to our school’s benefactors, sponsors, and supporters, both local and in Greece, whose generosity has assisted tremendously in funding this dream.

Finally, as I sit to write and reflect on this amazing cohort of dancers, I find myself consumed with emotion

On one hand, I could fill a book writing on each; on the other, I am at a loss as to where to start.  The acceptance of our invitation by the now “Famous 15” and their families, is a high honour for our school.  We humbly acknowledge their unwithering commitment, loyalty, trust, and shared belief in our vision; we wish them every success, and pray for their fitness, health, wellbeing and safety abroad.

From mid-June to mid-July, our troupe, our team, our dance family, will be exploring our ancestral homeland, spending an entire month travelling, performing, and experiencing all that Greece has to offer, through a completely bespoke and unique cultural, spiritual, physical, and psychological multifaceted programme, years in the making.  We anticipate this defining moment, and the realisation of undertaking a life-experience of this magnitude.

Through Destination Patrida, this incredible cohort of young Greek-Australians become the formal representatives of everything that ‘we are’, and everything we have accomplished in the diaspora as Greeks on the opposite side of our planet; the next link in a chain of endless, intangible cultural heritage and ancestry, which has been preserved and transmitted to yet another generation- albeit 15,000km away from our πατρίδα!

Eternally grateful,
Dimosthenis Manasis
Director / Instructor

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