Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Stars of Bulgarian Folklore: Zvezditsa Ensemble of Dimitrovgrad

From time to time we get a number of Bulgarian students at our Friday night dances who take classes at Mt. Holyoke College.

One young woman was particularly memorable, in that she was part of a folk dance ensemble in Dimitrovgrad. She was a delightful addition to our Friday night dances, although her stay with us was short. She taught us a few dances from her repetoire, and she even complimented me on the way I led Eleno Mome (Elenino Horo). When she finished the semester, she returned to Bulgaria.

I saw her just a few times, so I didn't get her email address, or her Facebook page. She did, however, mention that her dance ensemble, Zvezditza, was on YouTube. Zvezditsa means "evening star" in Bulgarian.

In a recent post I described the Bulgarian fascination with stars, planets, and outer space, and the frequent mention of them in folklore. Read more about this here:


Here are several videos of Zvezditza, a very spirited and talented group. The first one features a rachenitsa, the national dance of Bulgaria.

These are dances from the Pirin region.

And finally, the student I met mentioned she had marched in a parade during a festival on the Mosel River in Germany. This was an area I knew well and I had been to numerous wine festivals in that region.

Here they are dancing a daichovo horo during a parade in the wine village of Kröv.

The world is a small place indeed.

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  1. Hi Katley, somehow one of my Google searches for Ensemble Zvezditza led me to your page. I believe I am the young woman you wrote about in this post. I was very surprised to read about myself!! What a wild coincidence! I am so happy to hear that my short time with your group helped add to your repertoire.

    By the way, the ensemble is actually hosting a summer workshop, if you are ever interested, you would be most welcome to join: https://zvezditzadance.weebly.com/our-workshop.html

    All best!

  2. Wow, Anonymous, this is amazing! I did not mention your name in order to protect your privacy, but I do remember you. I had written about you in my journal. You were the young woman from Smith college who came to an Amherst folk dance back in March 2011. I hope you are doing well. Maybe next year, if you still have the summer workshops I will be able to go since I plan to retire in about a year and visit Bulgaria. I still go to Amherst to dance. They are a wonderful group. Thank you for the comment and reminding me about how small our dance world really is! You can find me on Facebook as Katley Brown. Please feel free to contact me.

  3. The dance where I met you was in March of 2009, not 2011. Wow, that was over ten years ago!