The July 28 Greek Nights presentation in Astoria organized by the Athens Square Park Committee and the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater NY featured the Nick Nikolaides Band and the dancers in traditional costumes of the Greek American Folklore Society.
According to its website, http://www.emoreiro.com/GAFS, “The Greek-American Folklore Society is dedicated to the study, preservation and instruction of the history and traditions of Hellenic folk culture. We share our work with the public through stage re-enactments of traditional Greek customs, songs and dances, as well as through lectures, exhibits and workshops.
“The Society activities encompass a wide variety of folk art traditions from all regions and islands of Greece, in addition to the communities of the Greek Diaspora past and present. The primary focus is on Demotic folk songs and dances, as these reveal both the spirit and materiality of their respective cultures of origin. In the lyrics, music and ritualized motion of Greek folk traditions, we see reflections of a people’s history, spirituality and world-view. We discern aesthetic ideals which defined Greek communities of past generations.
“We give special attention to old Greek communities lost or otherwise forgotten in the Balkans. Of particular importance to GAFS is the authenticity of the material it teaches and presents, which is accomplished through extensive research in the villages of Greece, as well as collaboration with prominent folk groups and organizations in Greece.