Balkan Music &
Dance Workshops

Every summer the EEFC presents two week-long summer camps.

June 23 – 30, 2018
More info…

August 4 – 11, 2018
More info…


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Get the FAQs

Find out almost everything you always wanted to know about the EEFC’s Balkan camps.
FAQs


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Scholarships

We award several full and partial scholarships to each workshop every year.
Apply for one.


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Kids at Camp!

A great experience for families. Get the scoop to ensure everyone has a blast!

West Coast Balkan Music & Dance Workshop

Mendocino Woodlands, California
June 23 – 30, 2018

Since 1977 the West Coast edition of the EEFC’s Balkan Music & Dance Workshop has been gathering amidst the towering redwoods of the Northern California coast. Each year we welcome new friends along with old, as musicians and dancers and those who love them come together with our extraordinary teaching staff for a memorable week. Our rustic setting makes for a true getaway. Our programming offers numerous opportunities to learn, and our welcoming and warm atmosphere creates a friendly setting for your week at camp.

 


The Facility

The Mendocino Woodlands  is located in a beautiful redwood forest near the Northern California coast, 175 miles north of San Francisco. A half an hour inland from the scenic town of Mendocino, our camp has three clusters of rustic (no electricity), four-person enclosed cabins on somewhat hilly terrain with stone fireplaces and balconies, a spacious dance hall, and plenty of tenting sites. Each cluster has its own bathhouse with lights and hot showers. Between classes you can hike in the forest or take a dip in the swimming hole in the nearby river.

The Workshop

The Mendocino Workshop runs from Saturday evening to the next Saturday morning. Classes begin Sunday morning, and are held each day through Friday. Following a review session Friday morning, participants have the option to perform in a student concert. The week closes on Friday with a Balkan-style lamb roast and the last of the week’s great evening parties. We have part-time attendance and evening party-only options available.

The Program

A broad array of instrumental, vocal, ensemble, and dance classes at all levels are offered across five daily 75-minute class slots. We provide an instrument-lending program to enable new students to get started on harder-to-find village instruments. In the early evenings the program includes folklore presentations and panel discussions, group sings with musical accompaniment, and our fun, community-building auction. Live-music dance parties featuring our world-class staff musicians will rock your socks in the dance hall, and the party continues late into the night in our more intimate cafe-bar, the kafana, featuring a variety of staff and camper musical sets, from the sublime to the floor-stomping.  See a sample daily schedule.

Food

The workshop features three delicious meals a day and an evening snack, with selections to please both omnivore and vegetarian tastes.

Families

We welcome families! The Mendocino workshop features classes in children’s dance movement, a youth band, and a singing class especially for younger singers. Children are also welcome and encouraged to take adult classes, according to their capabilities. Find more info on Kids at Camp.

Work Exchanges

A few partial-tuition-waiver work exchanges may be available for full-week participants. Please contact the Mendocino Workshop Site Manager if you are interested.

Evening Parties

You may attend just the evening parties, which usually begin at 9 p.m. The cost is $35 per person. Admission includes the evening dance party and late-night Kafana activities until 2:30 a.m. (no overnight accommodations). Please register for evening parties with the EEFC Office before June 22. Tell us what night you plan to attend and the names of others in your party. We cannot accept drop-in partygoers. Registered partygoers may check in and pay at the Kafana when you arrive on site (no earlier than 7:30 p.m.). Click on the Evening Parties tab to see the schedule of evening parties, culture corners and group sings.

Cost, Registration, and Other Information

Online registration is open (see red “Register Now” button above). Workshop updates are announced through our E-newsletter (sign-up if you haven’t already), the EEFC listserv discussion group, and on our Facebook page.


Teachers

NOTE: Staff, class, and class level listings are subject to update and change.

This is a list of our 2017 teaching staff. Our 2018 teaching staff list is in process! Please check back or sign up for the EEFC email newsletter for updates.

Dance

Yannis Konstantinou

Greek Dance

Yannis Konstantinou has been dancing from childhood alongside his parents, family, and friends in the villages of Florina, located in northwest Greece, and to this day, his personal teaching and...Read More

Steve Kotansky

Balkan & Albanian Dance

Steve Kotansky, known widely as a versatile dancer and teacher, has made many research trips to Bulgaria, the former Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary and Greece. He has been a regular on our teaching...Read More

Susan Kotansky

Balkan & Albanian Dance

Susan Kotansky performed with the George Tomov, Kálmán Magyar’s Hungária, and Ungaresca ensembles in New York City. She spent a year living in Budapest, attending the Folkdance Section of the...Read More

Alex Marković

Serbian Dance

Alex Marković holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois-Chicago. He spent 17 months conducting ethnographic fieldwork on Romani ethnic identity and musical performance in...Read More

Instruments & Ensembles

Petar "Usmivkata" Aleksiev

Bulgarian Thracian Gajda

Petar "Usmivkata" (The Smile) Aleksiev was born in Varna, Bulgaria. He graduated from "Philip Kutev" Music School in Kotel, then from Plovdiv's Academy for Music and Dance Arts. He was part of the...Read More

Paul Brown

House Bassist (non-teaching)

Paul Brown has been playing music for 42 years, studying bass and improvisation at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and oud and makam with Haig Manoukian and Necati Çelik. Comfortable in...Read More

Demiran Ćerimović

Brass Band & Trumpet

Demiran Ćerimović is a renowned Romani trumpet (rotary-valve flugelhorn) player and brass band leader from Vranje, Serbia. Like many in his community, he learned the art of the trumpet from his...Read More

George Chittenden

Clarinet

George Chittenden was drawn to the passion and drive expressed in the music and dance of the Balkans and Near East as a teenager in the 70s. He has lived and studied extensively abroad, traveling...Read More

Valeri Georgiev

Bulgarian Kaval, Bitov Ensemble

Valeri Georgiev is from the Bulgarian Danube town of Ruse. He studied kaval in Kotel and graduated from the Plovdiv Conservatory with a degree in folk-ensemble conducting. He performed in the...Read More

Adam Good

Macedonian Tambura, Makam Theory

Adam Good is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. With a foundation in jazz guitar, his interest in the music of Eastern Europe and Turkey began in the mid-90s. His talent on...Read More

Christos Govetas

Rebetika Ensemble

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

Raif Hyseni

Accordion, Albanian-Kosovar Ensemble

Raif Hyseni hails from The Republic of Kosova, which has a large Albanian majority. He grew up in the town of Mitrovicë, where he studied accordion at music school and performed in amateur...Read More

Jerry Kisslinger

Tapan

Jerry Kisslinger has played tapan/dauli for East European and folk dance communities, workshops, concerts and festivals throughout the United States since the early 1970s. A specialist in...Read More

Ari Langer

Violin

Ari Langer grew up in Ashland, Oregon, where he studied classical violin, performing in solo competitions and with local string quartets and orchestras. He took a sharp left turn to attend the...Read More

Mark Levy

Macedonian Village Ensemble

Mark Levy created the first week-long Balkan Music & Dance Workshop in 1974, and co-founded the East European Folklife Center in the early 1980s. He recently retired from the faculty of the...Read More

Lise Liepman

Greek Ensemble

Lise began her involvement with Balkan music in 1976 in the vibrant dance scene of the San Francisco Bay Area. She was a member and director of Westwind International Folk Ensemble for many years....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

Tamburica Ensemble

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 Europe. He...Read More

Vlado Pupinoski

Clarinet & Saxophone, Romani Ensemble

Vlado Pupinoski was born in Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia, to a large musical family. His late father, Sekula Pupinoski, and uncle, Efto Pupinoski, are popular and well-known traditional folk music...Read More

Milen Slavov

Bulgarian Accordion, Accompaniment Approaches in Bulgarian Music

Milen Slavov was born in the Thrace region of Bulgaria. He began playing piano accordion at the age of seven, performing on stage at age 8, composing and arranging at 16, and producing multimedia...Read More

Faisal Zedan

Doumbek & Hand Percussion

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, and raised in Oum Dbaib, Syria, Faisal Zedan grew up impassioned with the derbekki drum. At the age of 15, he embarked on a journey of learning through exposure to a wide...Read More

Singing

Maria Bebelekova

Rhodope Bulgarian Singing

Maria Bebelekova, from the Bulgarian Rhodope town of Shiroka Luka, learned singing from her mother and grandmother. She studied at the Shiroka Luka Folk Music School and the Plovdiv Conservatory,...Read More

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

Merita Halili

Albanian Singing

Merita Halili is one of Albania’s top performers. Born in the capital city of Tiranë, Merita grew up singing the lyric songs of her native region of Central Albania. Her nationwide debut came...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 Europe. He...Read More

Eva Salina

Romani Singing & Performance Coaching

Based in Brooklyn, NY, for the last ten years, Eva Salina is a leading interpreter of Eastern European musical traditions, performing and teaching internationally. She attended her first Balkan...Read More

Michele Simon

Balkan Vocal Technique

Michele Simon has been involved with Balkan folk music for most of her life as a dancer, singer, drummer and teacher. She has performed with many groups over the years, including the Balkan bands...Read More

Svetlana Spajić

Serbian Singing

Svetlana Spajić, a native of Loznica, Serbia, began performing publicly in 1993 with Paganke, as its youngest member. Paganke (The Pagan Women), was a pioneer Belgrade group formed in the 80s...Read More

For the Kids

Tano Brock

Kids' Band

Tano Brock was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. At a young age, he began attending various music camps in California with his family, where he picked up his first instrument, doumbek. He...Read More

Frank Garcia and Julie Orth

Children's Activities

Frank Garcia has taught dance to elementary and high-school students since 1994 and implemented dance programs at both McKinleyville High School and Sunset Elementary School of the Arts in...Read More

Eleni Govetas

Kids' Band

Eleni Govetas was born into the musical Govetas family and has been immersed in music since day one. She began performing (on doumbek) with her parents at the age of nine and has continued to add...Read More

Getting to Mendocino

Mendocino Woodlands Camp One is in Jackson State Forest about 175 miles north of San Francisco, roughly 12 miles inland from the coastal town of Mendocino.

From the south, take Hwy 101 North to Cloverdale. Highway 101 bypasses Cloverdale, so take the Hwy 128 Fort Bragg/Mendocino exit (after a couple of Cloverdale exits). Some 60 miles later (twisty road, but gorgeous vineyard, redwood, and coastal scenery), take Hwy 1 North to Mendocino.

From the north (Oregon), take I-5 South to Grants Pass, then Hwy 199 to Crescent City. From there, take Hwy 101 South to Leggett. From there take Hwy 1 South (insanely twisty road to the coast, with the reward of breathtaking ocean views) to Mendocino.

From Mendocino, go east on Little Lake Road (Co. Rd. 408) from Hwy 1
(at stoplight) for 5.6 miles, then turn right on Co. Rd. 700 (winding dirt road). Drive for 4 miles to Camp One. Please drive slowly and carefully on this dusty road!

If you’ve never been to the Woodlands, plan to arrive before dark. Registration will be located just outside the dining hall.

Party—Bed & Breakfast

Come for early evening activities, the dance party and the late night kafana. Then spend the night and enjoy breakfast before you hit the road!

Here’s how it works:

8:00 p.m.: Arrive at our lovely redwoods site (see Directions tab above). Check in at the Kafana and set up your bunk.

Then take in a folklore presentation, singalong, or join in our auction. Dancing to live music begins in the main hall generally around 9:00.

Our Kafana in the woods is a bar and a club, and a place where much music and merriment happens into the wee hours. Stay as long as you like!

Sleep in a bunk with the bedding you brought from home.

Roll out of bed, have breakfast by 9:30 a.m., and hit the trail by 10.

All this can be yours for the bargain price of $99. A cheap hotel in Ft. Bragg (forget the town of Mendocino), easily runs twice as much and provides no options for gajda, rakija, čočeks, or çiftetelli!

 

HOW TO REGISTER

Use our online form to register for the Bed & Breakfast option. See the red “Register Now” button above.

Mendocino Evening Party Schedule


Culture Corners and Group Sings begin at 7:45 p.m. Dance parties, unless noted, begin at 9:00 p.m. Please see the Workshop Details tab for information on how to sign up to attend our evening activities.

Note: Schedule is subject to change

Saturday, June 24
Dance
A Balkan Sampler!
Greek Zourna—Eleni, Christos & Bobby Govetas
Turkish etc.—Faisal Zedan & friends
Bulgarian Gajda—Petar “Usmivkata” Aleksiev
Pontic—Adam Good, Ari Langer, Jerry Kisslinger, Paul Brown
Brass—Demiran Ćerimović & friends

Sunday, June 25
Culture: Svetlana Spajić + Kitka: Serbian Village Singing Traditions
Dance
Greek & Balkan—Édessa
Albanian—Merita Halili & Raif Hyseni

Monday, June 26
Group Sing: Balkan with Michele Simon
New!: Dance for Musicians with special guest Michael Ginsburg
Dance
Bulgarian—Valeri Georgiev & friends
Greek Zourna—Eleni, Christos & Bobby Govetas
Greek Brass—Michael Ginsburg & friends

Tuesday, June 27
Auction Night (dance party begins around 10:00 p.m.)
Dance
Tamburica—John Morovich & friends
Romani—Vlado Pupinoski & Eva Salina
Greek Island & Pontic—Ari Langer

Wednesday, June 28
Culture: Yannis Konstantinou: Greek Dance Traditions
Dance
Macedonian Village—Mark Levy & friends
Brass—Demiran Ćerimović & friends

Thursday, June 29
Dance
Rhodope Sing-Along—Mark Levy & Gajda Mafia (starts at 8:00)
Bulgarian—Milen Slavov & special guest Zhivka Papancheva
Greek—Christos Govetas & Drómeno

Friday, July 1
Student Ensembles play for your dancing pleasure (dance party begins at 8:00 p.m.)