Athan Karras Passes Away

Athan_KarrasAthan Karras, a great Greek dancer, is not among us any more. Karras died on Friday February 12th. Athan Karras’ name was synonymous with Greek dance. After dancing with major dance companies and researching Greek dance as an exponent of his career, he had successfully produced and presented folklore programs and events in the U.S. and Canada. He was an instructor of Greek Dance and Culture at Loyola Marymount University, and was the U.S. coordinator for Mazoxi, an annual Greek dance conference held on the Island of Crete. In the early sixties, he founded the Intersection Folk Dance Center in Los Angeles, which subsequently became the landmark of folk cultures and a unique center for Greek music and dance.

Mr. Karras paved the way for performers in the U.S. and was instrumental in bringing the Parthenon Dancers of Greece to the U.S. and Canada for several tours.

Mr. Karras was a member of the Dora Stratou Greek Dance Theatre and Foundation; a member of the Board of Directors for the AMAN Folk Ensemble; an Advisor and Director of the Folk Dance Programs for the California Traditional Musical Society “CTMS” which honored him with the Lifetime Achievement Award; a lifetime member of The Hellenic University Club of Southern California which also recognized him for his contributions to Greek Culture and Heritage for his production of Kapetan Mihalis by Nikos Kazantzakis; he was named Man of the Year at the Levendia Conference, a Greek Folk Festival in Tarpon Springs, Florida; and he received the 2001 Athenagoras I Humanitarian Award which is the highest award given by the Greek Orthodox Folk Dance Festival of the Western Diocese.

Funeral Services are as follows:
Trisagion, Wednesday 2/17/2010 – 6:30pm St. Sophia Cathedral
Funeral, Thursday 2/18/2010 – 11:00am St. Sophia Cathedral



  1. Uncle Tommy, I remember when you would come to visit us back in the 60's. I always looked forward to your visits. I remember the "Intersection". When Mom and I and Koukla went to Greece in l973, we saw you there. I also remember when you choreographed the dancing for "The Postman always Rings Twice". You called to tell mom you were doing this movie and asked if the whole family wanted to be extras. It was alot of fun. I will always have fond memories of you. I also remember coming over to your house and visiting the family. Very special times and you were a Very Special Person. You will be missed greatly. May Your Memory Be Eternal and Rest in Peace.

    • Yes the New York Greeks Your Yiayia my YIayia Christina Dogris . It was something in the water . May you all be together now

  2. My dear friend, Athan, what an impact you had on me and so many of your students. Your generosity and passion inspired so many of us. You were an extraordinary friend and teacher, who inspired me to dance–and to be a better person.

    Words cannot express how much love and respect I feel for you. Thank you, for making a difference in my life. I will cherish your beautiful spirit in my heart and in my memories forever.

    You will be greatly missed!

  3. I followed the Greek dances Athan choreographed/taught even before I knew of him or came to Los Angeles. I only hope his dancing will live in the next generation and those he taught can pass it on. Opa!


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