23 May 2016 Festivals
For the 25 th time so far, HANIOTI festival united folk dance and choral artists from Ireland, Latvia, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey in the picturesque coastal settlement of Chaniotis for a memorable festival time together.
All groups arrived smoothly to a sunny Chaniotis welcoming us all with its explicit charm. In this coastal village which offers the amenities of a cosmopolitan center, participants had the chance to relax and tantalize all of their senses, while doing what they love doing - dance and sing and thus show before each other their artistic work.
Groups seemed especially satisfied at the experience of performing their rehearsals in an ancient Greek amphitheater in the center. Each group held 3 concerts on the festival’s non-competitive program. All venues boasted excellent acoustics and a mystical ambience in the spirit of the ancient amphitheaters.
“I enjoyed so much the boat trip we took yesterday together with other participants,” one of the dancers told us grinning enjoyably after her group’s successful performance. “Everybody was relaxed and laughing and I think it reminded us all that summer is coming, that’s why we enjoyed it so much.”
Another one from the participants emphasized the food. “This festival is already worth attending to if you only consider the food. Greek cuisine is totally deserving of its reputation, but here, the locally produced ingredients give it an amazing taste!” Groups had the chance to enjoy the excellent local cuisine in the numerous small, cute restaurants and bistros located around the amphitheater in the center.
The festival’s Art Director, Dragan Pantelic, noted that this was a perfect jubilee edition of their oldest festival. “Years ago, it was precisely at one HANIOTI festival where the Folklore Festival Association was born. Many years later we still enjoy organizing and living this experience. So far, more than 15.000 folk artists have celebrated together the cultural traditions of different countries. This year we witnessed another wonderful sequel of this lasting adventure with outstanding performances from several cultures and styles of folk dance and choral music. The areal video of the participants we made seems to have very conveniently wrapped up this memorable time for us all in a symbolic way. ”