Infecting the City 2012
The Jewels - Greek Dancing

Dancers from Cape Town’s Hellenic community performing ecstatic Mediterranean footwork


Celeste Botha


Jewel Route 3: Wed 23 at 11h00 and 13h10
Jewel Route 1: Thurs 24 at 11h00 and 1310


Jewel Route 3 begins on St. Georges Mall, between Castle St and Shortmarket St
Jewel Route 1 begins at the Grand Parade market

Choreographer-dancer Celeste Botha takes a quick step out of the contemporary dance fold to craft a Jewel with the dancers of the Hellenic Dance Academy of Cape Town.

Valentia Papanicolau, who has been practising Greek dancing styles since she was a little girl in the early 1970s, is the instructor at the academy. ‘Greek dance is pretty hectic; it’s a bit of a workout,’ she says, ‘There’s nothing wishy-washy about it.’

We often associate the dancing of Greece with Zorba the Greek and smashing plates, but there are dozens of regional forms of the dance that have evolved over the millennia in this ancient nation. ‘As in the language and the food, there are many cultural influences in our dance,’ says Valencia.

The Greek community settled in Cape Town over 100 years ago, and has a cultural base in Greenpoint.

Celeste Botha

Celeste Botha

Celeste has been actively involved in the South African dance industry her entire life, as performer, teacher and choreographer. A graduate of the UCT Ballet School, she now teaches and examines contemporary dance there. She is also a company member of Jazzart Dance Theatre. Her extensive dance training and experience spans 30 years and includes Ballet and Contemporary. Her talent has earned her many accolades including 'Most Promising Contempor read more...