Philologist Thodoris Kontaras and journalist Margarita Pournara in conversation, as part of the series “Asia Minor, the Baton of Memory”
The third guest in the Hellenic American Union’s new series of events titled "Meetings with a View" is philologist Thodoris Kontaras, a true native of Asia Minor from Sivrisari, who has been working for the last 40 years to preserve fragments of Greek folk music, dance and storytelling in the region. A charismatic narrator, he will try during his conversation with journalist Margarita Pournara to transport us in place and time to a world that no longer exists but continues to live within us.
Thodoris Kontaras, guided by his insatiable curiosity, has explored many Asia Minor and Thracian homelands through his travels and field research. He began from the neighborhood he grew up in, Nea Erithraia, where he created a dance club to preserve the music and heritage of Asia Minor. During the period 1991-1994, he edited three records of the Lyceum of Greek Women in Athens with dances and songs from Alatsata, Eritrea and Smyrna, as well as a CD entitled Songs from the Palaces of Marmara of Asia Minor. In these four records, first and second-generation refugees from New Erithraia and the New Palaces area in Oropos sing and play music in an authentic way. He also studied and recorded the traditional costumes of the Greeks of Marmara, Eritrea, and the villages of Smyrna.