Balkan dancing

Friday, November 7, 2014 - 7:30am
Odd Fellows
1706 NW Market Street, Seattle, WA 98107 - Google Map

There's no regular Friday night dancing at the Russian center this coming week... but fear not! Bulgarian master musicians Ivan and Tzvetanka Varimezov are flying in from Los Angeles JUST so you can get your Balkan dance groove on! David Bilides will join them on tupan, and it will be a hoppin' time!

Friday, November 7
Doors open at 7:30; music starts around 8 p.m.

(They are landing at SeaTAC at 7:20 and are hoofing it straight to the party! Please be patient with the start time. We'll have recorded music and snacks while you wait.)

The venue:

Odd Fellows Ballard-Alki Lodge
1706 NW Market St
Seattle WA 98107

Admission: $15 at the door

About the Varimezovi:


Tzvetanka Varimezova was born in Pazardzhik in Bulgarian Thrace, and started singing and playing accordion at age 9. She went on to master tambura and piano, and studied folk music at Kotel High School for Folk Music and received a B.A. degree in choral conducting and folk instrument pedagogy from the Academy of Music and Dance in Plovdiv.

During the 1980s she directed the choir of a regional professional ensemble of folk song and dance in the town of Pazardzhik. During the 1990s she was a soloist and assistant choral director of a number of professional women’s choirs in Sofia, including the Bulgarian National Ensemble of Folk Song and Dance, founded by Filip Koutev.

She performed with Ensemble Trakiya for five years and conducted the Pazardzhik Ensemble choir for seven. In 1993 she began working with two Bulgarian-style choirs in Denmark, and also sang with Cosmic Voices from Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Radio Choir.

In addition, she has worked and is still working with choirs from around the world, including Denmark, France, Greece, Japan and numerous choirs in the United States. She has many solo recordings to her name and is well-known for her brilliant, high-pitched tone quality and her interpretations of the highly ornamented songs from her native Pazardzhik region.

She performs regularly with her husband Ivan Varimezov. Since 2001 they have been in residency at UCLA, where Tzvetanka directs the women’s Bulgarian choir.

Ivan Varimezov was born and raised in a small town in eastern Bulgaria. As a young child he began to play the most important traditional folk instrument of the country, the bagpipe, called the gaida. It consists of a melody pipe, a drone pipe, and a blow pipe, all tied into a goatskin bag. Varimezov was a gaida soloist in Bulgaria’s most prestigious professional folk ensemble and participated in many international tours before being invited to come to the US. In addition to performing, he also teaches at UCLA.

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