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Sunday, May 2, 2010


Tragic death of well-known exponent of Greek dance.

The Greek community is mourning the loss of one of its major exponents of dance, choreographer and dancer Manolis Veloudos, who was murdered in a robbery at his home in Hyde Park, Johannesburg, a week ago. More than 300 people attended his funeral.

He grew up in what was then Rhodesia before coming to live in South Africa. He studied Greek dance in Athens with doyenne Dora Stratou who was then in her 70’s and she continued to be an inspiration to him. When in Athens he performed Greek classical dances in the Delphi Amphitheatre.

He was renowned for his renditions of the Hasapiko (Butcher’s Dance) and performed his shows all over Durban as well as working for men’s outfitters Papoutsi, Bachelors and Allan Gee.

Durban dance lovers will best remember him for his part with dance lecturer Cheryl Joiner in Go Gentle, Love and Impressions which featured poetry written by Mary Hudson and the late Sjoerd Meijer, then Arts Editor of the Daily News. Stella Harvey was the narrator and the flute accompaniment was provided by music lecturer Esme Venter who played with the Durban Light Infantry Band.

In 1990, Manolis Veloudos left to go to Johannesburg where he continued to dance and opened a specialised Greek dance studio which he named Caliope after his mother.