For those wanting to make the acquaintance of Greek dance, the easiest solution is to watch a performance, such as those staged daily in tavernas catering for tourists or in the summer folk dance theatres. The latter are incomparably better quality, for the shows staged in tourist haunts have been adapted to please foreign taste, which is mainly for a meal and variety show. Amateur dancers often go to folk dance theatres and festivals to see what other groups have to present.
The two Greek folk dance theatres, one in Athens and the other in Rhodes, are state-aided and perform dances from all over Greece. They each have a permanent company of dancers and musicians, as well as a large collection of costumes, an atelier where these are copied and sewn, and auxiliary staff. Dance groups from different villages were often invited to appear with the Dora Stratou company in its theatre on the hill of Philopappos in Athens, thus the audience had a chance of seeing genuine dances.
The Lyceum of Greek Women and other amateur folk dance groups only stage a few performances each year. Many schools organise folk dance displays to mark their sports day or national holidays. Local groups are often invited to provide the entertainment at the annual dinner-dance of their respective societies, usually held in January and February. Most dance events are advertised on the arts page of the national newspapers or in the news-in-brief column.
During the summer months various municipal festivals are organised throughout Greece, where one has the opportunity of seeing folk dance companies from abroad. At Lefkada, Chania, Tripoli and many other towns, troupes from different parts of Greece, as well as from other countries, gather together for a few days. Major professional folk dance companies from abroad appear at the Veakio theatre in Piraeus and at the Athens Festival.
Wine festivals and other similar events, organised in towns up and down the country, are also venues at which dance groups, usually semi-professional, appear. Quite often they dance together with the public after their formal performance.