Angelina Ilieva, Lecturer in South Slavic and Balkan Literatures in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago, reports on the March 3, 2013 lecture and workshop:
Balkan Rhythm and Dance consists of two events that have become a staple for my Balkan Folklore class (SOSL 268/368, NEHC 20568/30568, CMLT 23301/3330, ANTH 2/35908). The leader of the Chicago-based ensemble Balkan Dances (Balkanski Igri), John Kuo, who also happens to be a University of Chicago alumnus, gave a lecture and demonstration about the music and dance rhythms in Southeastern Europe. The lecture was followed by a beginner’s dance workshop in which the members of Balkanski Igri taught the students the steps of some of the simpler circle dances.
Founded in 1964, the Ensemble Balkanski Igri was an outgrowth of the University of Chicago Folk Dancers and is dedicated to the research, teaching, and performance of the folk music and dance of all regions of the Balkansand Eastern Europe. The ensemble also produces concerts and provides logistical and community outreach support for concerts of such major artists as Esma Redžepova the “Queen of Romani (‘Gypsy’) Music”, Boban Marković “Golden Trumpet of the Guca Festival,” Goran Bregović, Ivo Papazov, Teodosi Spasov and others. The Ensemble co-sponsors an annual Spring Festival each Spring the University of Chicago’s International House. Continue reading