Lithuanian Song & Dance Festivals
The Lithuanian Folk Dance Festival is a major cultural event of the nation attracting thousands of dancers and many more spectators from around the world. The Festival is held every four years in the capital city of Vilnius. The First Festival was organized in Kaunas In 1937. Choreography of some of the most popular dances, such as Suktinis, Noriu miego, Klumpakojis, Blezdingele, Kubilas, Kepurine, Kalvelis, Malunas, and others remain virtually unchanged from the First Festival.
After WWII, the Festival was named The Lithuanian SSR Folk Dance Festival and received generous support from the government. The Festival was growing in popularity and attracted a record of 450 dance groups with 8,500 dancers in 1986. Since 1990, Lithuanians from around the world participate in the Vilnius Festival.
The First Folk Dance Festival in diaspora was held in Chicago's International Amphitheater on June 30, 1957 and later continued every four years. Besides Chicago, the Festivals were held in Cleveland, Ohio, and Hamilton, Ontario with thousands of dancers and spectators.