The main troupe is composed of 50 dancers, 25 men and 25 women. In addition, it has dancers from regions with a very particular style, such as Crete or Pontos, who perform only their local dances, as well as invited dancers from particular villages. There are 5 to 10 vacancies every year, for which about 100 applicants – who are experienced dancers from other groups around the country – present themselves each January. They dance with the troupe’s dancers until finally the most competent ones are integrated in April.
The troupe rehearses every evening prior to the performance for 1 1/2 hour. During the winter season most dancers have several small groups where they teach. By dancing every single day of the year they improve constantly and keep in form. All dancers and musicians have a morning job for a living. The troupe has about 15 permanent folk musicians and singers. They play for rehearsals and performances every day; no recorded music is used to dance, in order to maintain the personal rapport between dancers and musicians, inherent in folk culture. Musicians have access to the archives of old field recordings, to verify the correct rendering of the particular style of playing characteristic to each region. Some of the dancers and musicians have been raised in the Theater, their fathers or even grandfathers having performed there. Many are married to fellow dancers and usually bring their children along because most of their evenings are spent there.