Home Community Philadelphia Icarians Hold Apokriatiko Dance

Philadelphia Icarians Hold Apokriatiko Dance

CHERRY HILL, NJ – [Story & photos by Steve Lambrou]

The Philadelphia chapter of the Pan Icarian Brotherhood held its annual Apokriatiko Dance – Gala on March 16 at the Danielle Kousoulis Center [of St. Thomas parish] in Cherry Hill, NJ. The event was a success as over 600 people came from near and far to celebrate. The Icarian Apokriatiko Dance is known for its length of time and this year it surpassed all previous events, continuing for almost ten [10] hours and concluding well after 5 in the morning.

The glendi was blessed with a visit by His Eminence Metropolitan Apostolos of New Jersey who noted that people from all over had come to celebrate. He spent some time beforehand with the youth present, taking photos and speaking to them. He then assisted the local chapter in presenting an icon of Agia Marina to each of the senior members of the society. Agia Marina is the patron Saint of the Island of Ikaria. President Yianni Pasamihalis noted that in addition to the celebration of 85 years, the icons were given as the society concluded its pledge to the Saint Thomas Greek Orthodox Church iconography program and the sponsoring of the icon of St. Marina. 

Dance chair Theologos Horiates noted that the day of Icarian Independence is July 17th, their Patron Saint’s feast day, and is reserved for the island’s all night Panagiria. The entertainment was outstanding, featuring Sergiani and the society’s signature Icarian dance with its various iterations. 

The hall was awash in a real time holographic light show with various photos of Ikaria and then transposed photos of the youth dancing as the evening progressed. The band didn’t take a break during the night and the dance floor was constantly full. Hovering above the dance floor and the holographic displays was Icaros moving on the ceiling and staring at the dance floor. 

Community leader Stathis Karadonis spoke of Greek Independence as well, noting that the Greek Parade in Philadelphia is just two weeks away. This year’s parade and indeed every Parade across the world is dedicated to the cause of Cyprus – the half century since its illegal invasion and the continuing occupation and oppression. He invited the 600 guests present to attend the Eleftheria Medal and Dignitaries Banquet at Adelphia on April 6th when along with the Presidential Guard of Greece – the Evzones, Philadelphia will honor Grand Marshal Philip Christopher and Archon National Commander Dr. Anthony Limberakis, this year’s recipient of the Eleftheria Medal. 

The Supreme Lodge of the Pan Icarian Brotherhood was also present. Led by Supreme President Katina Mavrophilipos the members spent the weekend visiting with the sizable contingent of local attendees and out of towners. People came from New York, Toronto, Baltimore, Virginia, North Carolina, Cleveland and as far away as Chicago. Ms. Mavrophilipos wished all a “Kali Sarakosti”, commented that the dance is looked upon as a national event and also invited the participants to its Supreme Convention in Atlanta this year, on Labor Day weekend. More information is available online:  https://www.ikariaatlanta.com/