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New York “Sail to Freedom” Event Commemorates Greek Bicentennial

Sail to Freedom
Statue of Liberty with Manhattan in the background. The Statue, a symbol of freedom worldwide, will be visited by tall ships and other vessels as part of the event “Sail to Freedom,” a commemoration of the Greek bicentennial, on June 6. Public Domain

A spectacular event will take place in New York Harbor on June 6, when the Greek Consulate in the city will sponsor “Sail to Freedom,” a flotilla of ships which will sail out to the Statue of Liberty to celebrate Greece’s 200 years of freedom.

As part of the event, aerialist Jennifer Anne Kovacs will perform her maneuvers suspended from the rigging of the tall ships, enveloped in the blue and white of the Greek flag.

The event will honor and commemorate the Greek War of Independence 200 years ago, honor America and its people who supported the Revolution, and also highlight the Revolution’s effects on America’s abolitionist and women’s suffrage movement.

The inspiring event to commemorate and honor the bicentennial of the Greek Revolution of 1821 will highlight Greece and the importance of the anniversary of the Revolution for all Hellenism around the world, and especially where Greek communities thrive.

The event, titled “Sail to Freedom,” will comprise a sail through New York Harbor toward the Statue of Liberty in a symbolic recreation depicting the message of the Greek warriors of 1821 who considered freedom as the ultimate good for the Greek nation, managing in the end to accomplish the unthinkable, to defeat the superpower of that period, the Ottoman Empire, and to give freedom back to Greece.

Sailing Spectacle will Honor Greece and her People All Around the World

During the event, dozens of sailing boats and motor boats, adorned with Greek flags and symbols of the Greek Revolution, will take part in the impressive spectacle which will also show the vital contribution of Greek mariners to the success of the Revolution and the deep relation of the Greek people with the sea that goes back to antiquity.

On the largest boat, a three-masted sailing ship, will be the performer of the main show. Internationally-known aerial dancer Kovacs will perform aerial maneuvers under the direction of Kostas Kimoulis, who will supervise the filming and broadcast of the event.

Prominent members of the Greek community will also be on hand to witness the celebration. International media representatives will be on sailing boats alongside the main ship to record the events of the day.

During the sail, Kovacs will give a breathtaking performance with an amazing aerial dance “flying” between the masts entwined in blue and white silk fabric. The unique performance will symbolize the courage and the bravery of the Greek warriors of 1821 who dared a “leap into the void” to fight for their freedom against a huge empire.

Nikos Terzis, the Greek composer and producer, will head the musical direction of the event. He has also composed a piece honoring the Bicentennial and the Greeks who formed strong communities abroad, never losing sight of their heritage.

A soprano will also sing as part of the event accompanied by a musician from the Conservatory of New York accompanying her on cello.

The event, which has been organized by GlobalAlive LLC, a company based in New York, will involve ships adorned with Greek flags departing from New York and making their way toward the Statue of Liberty.

With this event, organizers say, “we want to honor the critical contribution of the nautical force of Greece, the “bourlotierides” of Hydra and Spetses and the mighty captains like Laskarina Bouboulina and Andreas Miaoulis who played important part in the Hellenic Revolution.

“We also want to show the ancient ties between our country and the sea. The sailing route towards the Statue of Liberty was selected as a sail towards the symbol of freedom for all peoples.”

At the head of the armada of sail will be a three-masted sailing ship carrying journalists from the USA and Greece. When arrayed in front of the Statue of Liberty, Kovacs, a renowned aerial dancer, will perform maneuvers suspended from the mast of the ship, entwined in huge blue and white silk pennants.

Organizers note that her aerial dance will also be an allegorical recreation of the legendary Dance of Zalongo, which took place in December 1803, with the heroic resistance of the women of Souli who literally jumped into the void — choosing an honorable death over disgrace by the Ottomans.

The event is surely not one to be missed as we continue to commemorate the Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution during 2021. A live stream of the event can be found by clicking here.

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