Episode 16

Meet us on the dance floor: Getting to know Sarantos Kaperonis

Published on: 28th April, 2021

Mr. Sarantos N. Kaperonis was born and raised in Charlotte, NC, and graduated pharmacy school at South Carolina’s College of Pharmacy. His parents are from Karyes (Arachova), Lakonia, a village in southern Greece.

He has been involved in Greek Folk dance from a very young age where he started dancing for his home parish, Holy Trinity, under the direction of Stacie Peroulas and Marina Photopoulos. They were the first people to introduce him to many important characteristics of Greek folk dance. As a member of their dance group, Sarantos competed at the Metropolis of Atlanta’s Hellenic Dance Festival (HDF) for seven years and later. went on to dance with Charlotte’s Adult group, Stavraetoi, under the direction of Nick Metrakos. Through his experiences gained as a dancer, he began directing within his community in 2008.

In 2011, Sarantos began following his dream of doing first-hand research in Greece. With the help of Greek dance teacher Angelos Nikolaidis and musician Panagiotis Zikidis he has researched the music and dances of many villages in northern Greece, in addition to his village Karyes (Arachova). He has focused most of his time researching the region of Thrace, specifically Evros, since the music, dances, and paradosi of this region are what he has loved from a young age.  

This inspired him to learn Thracian Gaida in the unique Evritiko style under the mentoring of Panagiotis Zikidis of Pentalofos, Evros. He also plays Thracian Lyra which currently only a few musicians play and is in a revival stage.

His goal as a researcher is to portray the different characteristics and style in folklore within villages of the same region, specifically Thrace, because individual villages’ paradosi has been generalized and ultimately lost over the years.

In addition to doing first-hand research, Sarantos has participated in many workshops across the United States, Canada, and Greece to further enhance his knowledge in Greek folklore. He has taught workshops for groups within the Carolinas, the Metropolis of Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, California, Washington, and Canada and as a musician, has played at numerous events in North America and Greece.

Episode music: Endasi Live, Miami 2020

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About the Podcast

Chronicling Greek and Cypriot folk dance and music.
Chronicling Greek and Cypriot folk dance and music, one episode at a time, with guests from across the globe. Hosted by @mariaseva9 @givi351 and guest cohosts.