La Troupe Folklorique Grecque 'Syrtaki' is a non-profit Hellenic dance troupe whose goal is to preserve and promote Hellenic culture through the beauty of traditional dance, music and song within the Montreal, North American and international communities at large.
History & Highlights
La Troupe Folklorique Grecque 'Syrtaki' was originally founded in 1973 by Greek Montreal university students passionate about Greek dance. In 1981, the dance company was incorporated, and ever since, has remained an active player in the Montreal and North American cultural scenes, regularly appearing at local and international festivals. 'Syrtaki' also perfroms at private functions, such as weddings and baptisms, where Greek dance remains an integral element of the celebrations. In the spirit of passing down knowledge and tradition to the next generation, the dance company created a youth division in 2000, thus continuing to shape the dancers of tomorrow.
'Syrtaki' has staged four large-scale productions at Montreal's renowned Place-des-Arts theatre, most recently in 2002 and 2004 featuring an ensemble cast of over 100 dancers, musicians and choir members. In May of 2007, 'Enthymion', a tri-city dance tour was presented in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal in collaboration with Ottawa's 'Odyssey Dance Troupe' and Toronto's ' Paradosi Hellenic Dance Company'. In March of 2012, the dance company staged their first theatrical-dance show 'Under the Almond Tree' at the Mirella and Lino Saputo Theatre in Montreal.
The dance company strives to promote dance in its authentic form by inviting specialized instructors to share their findings from remote villages and regions in Greece, where traditional dances and local customs still flourish. To this end, the dance company has organized five North American Dance Conferences (1992-2003), and hosted several prominent instructors, musicians and dance troupes from Greece.
As of 2011, 'Syrtaki' has launched the bi-ennual Hellenic Cultural Conference - Laografia, building upon the philosophy of the previous conferences and making Montreal a key destination in the Hellenic dance scene within North America. The Hellenic Cultural Conference Laografia is an invaluable educational tool which allows present and future generations to discover their cultural inheritance and Hellenic identity. This is attained in the workshops through knowledge that is shared by the specialized instructors/researchers in regards to traditional dance, song, instruments, costumes and ethnography. It is further reinforced through active participation during the conference glentia and through the stimulating social interaction created amongst participants, teachers and musicians. For all folklore aficionados, Hellenes and Philhellenes alike, Laografia exposes us to the cultural richness of Greece, thus nurturing a passion for the arts and a friendship for Hellenism.
The dance troupe relies solely on the hard work, volunteerism and dedication of its members in order to fulfill its mission. Daily administrative tasks and decisions are undertaken by annually-elected members comprising the Executive Council. This council is assisted and guided by the Board of Directors, a permanent committee appointed by the membership.