Balkan Music &
Dance Workshops

Every summer the EEFC presents two week-long summer camps, which we’re revving up again after the long pandemic drought. Please visit the pages below to whet your appetite for the 2023 workshops!

June 17-24, 2023
More info…

August 5-12, 2023
More info…


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There’s more than one way to stay connected to the EEFC throughout the year. Subscribe to our email Newsletter for monthly updates. Join the Discussion List (an active email group with searchable archives since 1993). Send us a message.


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Since the beginning the East European Folklife Center has depended on you—our big-hearted community!


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Our 2022-23 programs are supported in part by a generous grant from the California Arts Council.

West Coast BalkanFest

Friday & Saturday, September 9 – 10, 2022
Presidio Theatre Plaza, San Francisco, CA

 

Come celebrate Balkan music and dance with us at our weekend festival—in person! Our West Coast BalkanFest will be held in the picturesque Presidio of San Francisco. Jump into the joy with a live-music dance party on Friday night and then come back for classes and more dance parties on Saturday with world-class instructors and performers. People of all ages and experience levels are welcome!

 


The Facilities

Presidio Theatre Plaza
The Presidio Theatre Plaza is located adjacent to a historic Spanish Colonial-style building on a corner of the parade grounds that once housed a movie theater used by U.S. Army members and families who lived on the Presidio Army Base in times gone by. The theater complex has been recently renovated and now hosts full theatrical productions in its 600-seat house. The Plaza is a beautifully landscaped open-air space behind the main theater building, with access to airy lobby and rehearsal rooms and a full catering kitchen. Behind the Plaza itself is a hilly eucalyptus grove, and beyond the building complex is a stunning view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

All dance activities, some classes, and meal service will take place outside on the Plaza, with select classes and Kafana activities inside in the well-ventilated Lobby and Rehearsal Room of the Theatre.

 

Food

Cow Hollow Catering, the primary caterer for the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts, will be providing delicious food throughout the weekend. Food costs, including coffee and tea, are included in your tuition—beginning with a generous Mediterranean-style welcome spread on Friday. On Saturday we will offer lunch when you arrive, then dinner to be served before the evening dance sets begin. Select alcoholic and premium non-alcoholic beverages will be available for sale over the weekend. Basic dietary choices and needs will be accommodated, including omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free.

 

Kafana in the Lobby!

The spacious lobby/bar area, while serving as a comfortable classroom during the day, will magically transform during both evenings into an intimate space, along the lines of our beloved camp Kafanas. While the scheduled dance party proceeds above on the Plaza proper, this room will be open as an alternative space for impromptu performance and acoustic jamming, to take place in an organic, un-programmed, and cooperative fashion. Bring your instruments and voices and let’s see what unfolds!

 

Work Exchanges

A few tuition-waiver work exchanges may be available for participants. Inquiries for work exchanges will be entertained only after registration has begun (see below). Please contact the EEFC Office if you wish to be considered for a work exchange. We will follow up on individual work exchange requests as soon as possible.

 

Registration, Fees, and Other Information

  • Whole weekend: (Friday night + Saturday day and night): $125 (adults and kids 12-17), $50 (children 7-11), children 6 and under are free – SOLD OUT!
  • Friday evening party only: $35 (adults and kids 12-17), $15 (children 7-11), children 6 and under are free – SOLD OUT!
  • Saturday Day & Night: $90 (adults and kids 12-17), $35 (children 7-11), children 6 and under are free – SOLD OUT!
  • Saturday Dinner & Dance: $45 (adults and kids 12-17), $15 (children 7-11), children 6 and under are free. SOLD OUT!!
  • What it covers. Fees include participation in dance parties and classes; food (see above), coffee and tea. Premium beverages will be for sale on site.
  • Paying it forward. When you register you will have an opportunity to kick in a little extra to help support this event and keep costs down for as many people as possible.
  • Covid protocols. We are asking ALL participants to present evidence of current Covid vaccinations and boosters (see the registration form for details), and we will require masking in all indoor spaces. See the FAQs for more details.

Online registration is closed – we are sold out for the weekend! . Event updates will be announced through our E-newsletter (sign-up if you haven’t already), the EEFC Discussion list, and on our Facebook page.

2022 Staff & Bands

Staff and band listings are subject to update and change.

Teachers & Dance Leaders

Christos Govetas

Greek Singing

Christos Govetas was born in the village of Proti, in the province of Serres in Greek Macedonia. After emigrating to Boston in 1978 he joined the Rebetiko band Taxími as a bouzouki and baglama...Read More

Joe Kaloyanides Graziosi

Greek Dance

Joseph Kaloyanides Graziosi was born and raised in the greater Boston area. Of Greek and Italian ancestry, Joe was exposed at an early age to Greek music and dance through both family contacts...Read More


Alex Marković

Romani & Serbian Dance

Alex Marković holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois-Chicago. He wrote his doctoral thesis on identity politics and musical performance among Romani brass musicians in...Read More


Nick Maroussis

Greek Strings

Nick Maroussis is a musician based out of Seattle, Washington, where he grew up playing strings in various rock bands in the greater Seattle area. His involvement in the Greek community and...Read More

John Morovich

Croatian Singing

John Morovich grew up in Seattle's sizable Croatian community. Since 1973, he has studied, taught, and performed traditional music and dance of Croatia and other parts of Southeastern...Read More

Michele Simon

Balkan Singing

Michele Simon has been involved with music all of her life, and with Balkan folk music for most of it, as a dancer, singer, drummer and teacher. She was raised surrounded by music of all kinds,...Read More

Sean Tergis

Balkan Rhythms

Drawing on a musical base in folk music from the Middle East, Turkey, Greece and the Balkans, Sean Tergis brings a unique element to his drumming through many different influences. At an early...Read More

Bands

Aya & Tano

Greek & Balkan

Aya Safiya and Tano Brock play a variety of music styles from around the Balkans, including Greek, Albanian, Turkish, and Romani. They both started playing Balkan music at a young age, and have...Read More


Drómeno

Greek

Drómeno is a longtime favorite band at many Balkan dance events up and down the West Coast. Led by Christos Govetas and Ruth Hunter, the band presents regional folk music from the Greek...Read More


Fanfare Zambaleta

Balkan Brass

Fanfare Zambaleta (roughly meaning crazy street party with brass) is an 8-piece Balkan brass band specializing in spirited music of the Serbian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Greek and especially the...Read More


Zabava!

Macedonian Village & More

Zabava! means "party" and that’s this group’s mission—to create dance parties of Macedonian village and city music, with sprinklings of Romani, Turkish, and Bulgarian, played with joy by...Read More


Daily Schedule

Please note the schedule and bands are subject to change, even at the very last minute. Schedule updated 8/30/22

 

Friday, September 9
  • 6:00 p.m.: Doors open, and dinner is served!
  • 7:00 p.m.: Bring on the brass with Fanfare Zambaleta, with select dances demonstrated by Alex Marković
  • 8:30 p.m.: Dancing continues with Greek and other Balkan delights from Aya & Tano, with select dances demonstrated by Joe Graziosi
  • 11:00 p.m.: Venue closes for the night. See you tomorrow on the Plaza!

 

Saturday, September 10
  • 11:30 a.m.: Doors open for All-Day attendees, and lunch is served
  • 12:30 p.m. – Plaza: Serbian and Romani Dance with Alex Marković
  • 12:30 p.m. – Lobby: Greek Singing with Christos Govetas
  • 2:00 p.m. – Plaza: Greek Strings with Nick Maroussis
  • 2:00 p.m. – Lobby: Croatian Singing with John Morovich
  • 3:30 p.m. – Plaza: Greek Dance with Joe Graziosi
  • 3:30 p.m. – Rehearsal Room: Balkan Rhythms with Sean Tergis
  • 3:30 p.m. – Lobby:Balkan Singing with Michele Simon
  • 5:00 p.m.: Doors open for Dinner & Dance attendees
  • 5:00 p.m.: – Lobby: Singalong with John Morovich
  • 6:00 p.m.: Dinner is served!
  • 6:45 p.m.: Dance party begins with Macedonian & More with Zabava!, with select dances demonstrated by Alex Marković
  • 8:30 p.m.: Greek dance set with Drómeno, with select dances demonstrated by Joe Graziosi
  • 11:00 p.m.: BalkanFest West is over. See you in the neighborhood!

 

Frequently Asked Questions & Important Information

This section is a work in progress. You can help! If you have a general question, email us and we’ll do our best to answer it, and if appropriate, include it in this list. FAQs updated 9/2/22.

 

Where is the Presidio Theatre Plaza and how do I get there? (Click on link for detailed directions and information about parking at the Presidio)

 

Can you expand a bit on your event Covid protocols?

  • First of all, these protocols have been established in the spirit of best practices and the common good—so that we can ALL feel safe and comfortable while celebrating with each other. We are aware that Covid cases may occur despite our best efforts.
  • Masks must be worn in all indoor spaces (exceptions below).
  • All participants must be fully vaccinated and boosted. The registration form provides a field where you will upload your proof of vaccination.
  • Please do not come to BalkanFest if you have tested positive for Covid-19 within the 5 days prior to the event or have symptoms of Covid-19 within the 5 days prior to the event.
  • We advise everyone to take a PCR or antigen test 3 days prior to the beginning of BalkanFest.
  • We will have a small emergency stock of KN95 masks on hand in case you forget to bring your own.

 

You’re asking that everyone be masked in indoor spaces. Will there be exceptions?

  • Yes. We will permit featured teachers to conduct their classes maskless, though students should remain masked. Students who are bringing wind instruments to play in class will be permitted to remove their masks, but we will make sure everyone is positioned a safe distance from one another.

 

I’m still not quite comfortable being with people indoors. Will events be inside or outside?

  • Both. Outside, the spacious, beautifully landscaped Plaza is where we’re holding all dance classes and dance sets. All food will be served outside, and there will be plenty of places to sit, hang, and socialize al fresco.
  • The indoor spaces of the Presidio Theatre have been recently renovated and equipped with state-of-the-art ventilation systems (see next FAQ below). We will hold several daytime classes and the evening open-mic Kafana in the Lower Lobby/Bar area, a large and airy room.

 

Can you tell me more about indoor ventilation at the Theatre?

  • Presidio Theatre has 40 air filters in the air-handling system and is committed to changing them out regularly during the COVID pandemic. Fresh national park air is circulated through the air-handler system every night. There are also movable Blueair HEPA air purifiers in high-use areas near the public restrooms.

 

Will you be live streaming the dance parties, like at the East Coast BalkanFest?

  • Unfortunately, no. Because of technical restrictions at the Theatre, we will not be live streaming. We are planning to upload short, informal videos over our social media outlets during the event to give everyone a flavor of what’s happening.

 

Resources & Materials

Updated 9/19/22

 

To download audio files and PDFs:
PC: right-click as you click on the red download link.
Mac: press Control as you click on the red download link.
Note: Some browsers work better than others for downloading. So if you’re not successful with one browser, try another.
 

Sean Tergis – Balkan Rhythms

Link to Google Drive with worksheets and audio resources

 

Alex Marković – Regional Dances of Kosovo/Kosova

Dance Video Links PDF

Audio files:

Christos Govetas – Greek Singing

YouTube links:

 

Registration Form