Greek Dance in Athens
28 September 2011
Heather Rees reports
A return visit to Greece provided a wonderful opportunity to visit the Dora Stratou Theatre again and to see the immaculately presented programme of Greek Folk Dances. This open-air theatre is a magical venue and the setting provides an authentic background for performing the traditional folk dances. The troupe – comprising 50 dancers (25 men and 25 women) – performs traditional dances from various regions of Greece. The well-rehearsed dancers give a flawless demonstration of their dances, retaining patterns, footwork and style with enviable perfection. The beautiful women are elegant in their movements with a lovely rhythmic quality. The agility of the male dancers taking turns to show their prowess with their solos when leading dances is particularly impressive.
The repertoire of the company comprises approximately 200 dances from about 80 different villages or regions, including some from the islands. Each dance is presented in its authentic costume and accompanied by musicians playing their traditional instruments. The costumes are richly decorated, beautifully coloured and, en masse, provide a wonderful spectacle for tourists and local audience members alike. The whole performance is a joy to watch and particularly pertinent with the welcome re-introduction of the Greek Section into our Advanced 2 syllabus.
For all National/Folk Dance enthusiasts, no visit to Athens would be complete without an evening at the Dora Stratou Theatre performance. Video films are taken of the company each year and so a record of this valuable wealth of folk tradition is available for purchase and further study.
Many publications including costume books, CDs and DVDs are available from the company. Just visit www.grdance.org for further information.