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Two and a half tonnes of octopus will be thrown onto the sizzling barbecues of GleNTi 2017, Darwin’s megalo two-day celebration of Greek culture. Then there’s the kleftiko (slow-cooked lamb), local handmade loukaniko sausages and, of course, souvlaki.

Though food will always be the drawcard, this year’s GleNTi wants to showcase another strong and stirring tradition of Greece – dance.“It’s an opportunity to showcase our culture, our music and the tradition of what happened in those eras of dance,” says the festival’s Nick Poniris, president of the Greek Orthodox Community of Northern Australia.

Members of Darwin’s five Greek dance groups will perform dances from the islands and regions of mainland Greece, wearing costumes handmade in Greece especially for the festival.

“All the dances are symbolic. They’re there for a reason,” Poniris says. 

From Kalymnos comes the sponge divers’ dance, while the shepherd’s dance mimics goats wandering the mountains and the Pontian Greeks conjure going into battle.

GleNTi’s musical line-up features Maria Stavropoulou, the Greek-Australian songstress who made it onto Greece’s version of The Voice, and the Glenti Band, an ensemble of Australia’s top Hellenic session musicians.

Also keep an eye out for Darwin’s own teen Greek bands Omorfi Parea and Nisiotiko.

“It shows we have depth in our youth, who have maintained those musical traditions and instruments,” Poniris says.

See the event listing.

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