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 Vranje, Serbia, for his doctoral dissertation. His general research interests involve music, dance, and ritual in the Balkans, ethnic identity and nationalism, the anthropology of performance, and ethnomusicology.
Alex has actively researched, performed, and taught folk dances from Serbia and Greece for the past 10 years. His specialties include Serbian music and dance traditions of southeastern Serbia and Kosovo. In addition, he is also interested in Romani dance traditions from southern Serbia, Kosovo, and Macedonia. His research in Vranje, Serbia allowed him to conduct in-depth fieldwork on dance in both the Romani and Serb communities of the area. Alex also researches and teaches a variety of Greek regional dance traditions.
He has taught dance to performing ensembles at various Serbian Orthodox churches in the Chicago-land area and northwest Indiana, as well as for Greek dance groups affiliated with the Pontian Society “Xeniteas” and the Greek Macedonian Society “Makedonia” in Chicago. Currently, Alex is co-instructor and performer with the Greek dance group “Ellas,” and a guest instructor with the Orpheus Hellenic Folklore Society of Chicago. He also offers public dance workshops and presentations on his research in dance and anthropology.
When he is not reading, writing, or dancing, Alex also enjoys playing Balkan percussion on the tapan/goč drum, tarabuka (Turkish-style darbuka/doumbek), and def (frame drum). He is particularly interested in Romani playing styles, improvisation, and dance rhythms from southern Serbia, Kosovo, and Macedonia. Alex lives in Oak Park, Illinois.
Alex recently contributed a fascinating article to EEFC’s Forum Folkloristika: “Beat That Drum! Exploring the Politics and Performance among Roma Brass Musicians in Vranje, Serbia.”