Why a forum on Balkan-Ethnic dance?

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Why a forum on Balkan-Ethnic dance?

Post  denismurf on Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:53 pm

As we introduced ourselves to the Seattle dance groups back in January, it was no surprise that a number of people asked whether our former Balkan-Ethnic dance scene was healthy and possibly a source of fresh ideas for keeping things going locally. The reason it was no surprise was that the same conversation has occurred at pretty much every group we've joined and visited over the last 20 years.

As far as I know, there is no internet forum devoted exclusively to recreational Balkan-Ethnic dance. I do know there are many creative, energetic people out there doing great things on a local level and sometimes writing about what works. I hope to reach as many of those doers as possible so they can share what they've learned with the larger Balkan-Ethnic dance community. I also hope to reach that vast majority who occasionally lead a dance, but generally just come, join the lines and have a good time. What keeps you coming back? What makes you stop coming? How difficult was it to break into Balkan-Ethnic dance?

There also seems to be little active coordination between Balkan musicians and the people who dance weekly to recordings. Are there ways for these 2 groups of people to promote participation at each other's gigs?

-- Denis


Last edited by denismurf on Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:50 am; edited 8 times in total

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yay ethnic dancing!

Post  monica on Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:54 pm

Hi - I'm the proud daughter of Denis, the organizer! I grew up being eternally dragged to folkdance events. Balkan music was a regular part of my and my brother's childhood. Being exposed to ethnic dancing at such a young age really developed my musical ear and has made me a lifelong dancer to all sorts of music.

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Balkan musicians and dancers

Post  lenusz on Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:48 am

Denis, I think the problem is even more complicated. Are the musicians folkdancer groups or ethnic groups? The folkdancer musicians are often very professional, but just as often, not that good. It is more of a casual, recreational thing. The ethnics are almost 100% really good, because here there is pride/embarassment of their particular culture involved, and you get into a lot of social things because of that.

Now for most bands, whichever of the 2 groupings mentioned above, they want to get paid. It's really a hard job becoming a really good, a really proficient musician, lot of time involved personally, and a lot of time involved becoming a band (as opposed to being a group of people that play different musical instruments together, at the same time, in other words, they may still not be a band). So if you ask them to get together with dancers, other than a gig, to discuss (?) what? they may not want to. There's only 48 hours in a day, after all.....LOL.....

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