OUR 2017 TEACHERS
"Subject to change"
EVREN SOYTOPCU KIYAK TURKISH WOMEN DANCES
Evren started dancing in elementary school in Ankara, where her group won the first prize in a national folk dance competition. As a teenager she joined Hoytur, the national and international champion folk dance company based in Ankara, and danced with them for ten years.
Evren then joined the professional dance company "Sultans of the Dance" which later became “The Fire of Anatolia” in Istanbul, and danced with them from 1999 to 2005. She has traveled around the world with several different dance projects as a dancer and soloist.
She has learned from and worked with many known choreographers in Turkey such as Nesrin Topkapi, Ahmet Luleci, Mustafa Erdogan, and Oktay Keresteci.
In 2007 Evren completed a “master teacher” diploma program, which was organized by the Turkish ministry of education. Since then she has been teaching dance in schools and also private workshops in Turkey and around the world. She has taught in Turkey, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Brazil, Japan and in USA at international dance workshops.
In 2014, Evren has served as an adjudicator at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod held yearly in Wales, UK.
YANNIS KONSTANTINOU GREEK
Yannis 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 dancing style conveys this lifelong experience.
He has a deep passion and commitment to preserving and sharing the local traditions and culture of the various ethnic groups living in Greek Macedonia, and has studied the cross-border influences of neighboring communities on dance and music along the northern border of Greece.
Yannis has organized and participated in many cross-border music and dance seminars and performance, and organized a Balkan Children's Dance Festival for the first ever in Greece, where traditional dance groups from across the Balkans performed side-by-side in Athens.
Yannis has taught all over Europe, Japan, Canada and USA (Five times in Ahmet's WorldCamp USA).
AHMET LÜLECI TURKISH
A native of Turkey, Ahmet is an accomplished choreographer, dance teacher and performer as well as a researcher of Turkish culture.
He is the winner of Crash Art's " Dance Straight Up! 2004 and 2006"," Ten's the limit 2005" and Boston Dance Umbrella's " Boston Moves 2001" awards for choreography. His choreography set for Budlet dance company won the Gold medal at "Hong Kong open Dance Competition 2004". He was also recently presented with the 2002 Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts & Humanities by ATAA (the Assembly of Turkish American Associations. His company Collage has won the fifth place at the world dance competition in year 2003.
Since arriving in North America in 1985, he has taught many workshops and camps throughout the five different continents. His college major was music, specializing in voice. Ahmet's fascination with dance led him to conduct scholarly research into the historical, social and cultural background of the costumes and spoon dances from Turkey's Mediterranean coast, awarded First Place in the 1985 national competition in research on the folkdances of Turkey by the Turkish ministry of Youth, Sports, and Education. In 1997 Ahmet completed a second degree in Fine Arts.
He is an adjudicator at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod held yearly in Wales. He is currently the Artistic Director of Collage Dance Ensemble and served as an International Art Director of "Outside the Box" International Arts Festival in 2015, in Boston.
LJUPKO MANEVSKI MACEDONIA
Ljupcho was born in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. He is an accomplished artist, choreographer, dance teacher, as well as a researcher of the rich folklore of his country.
Since 1990 he has been soloist and best dancer of the renowned National Ensemble of Music and Dance of Macedonia "Tanec".
Ljupcho is also founder and artistic director of the Ensemble Studio Folclor, where he works with different age groups, popularizing and spreading the Macedonian traditional dances.
As a guest professor Ljupco has taught in many international seminars: Balkanfolk - Bulgaria, Valos - Greece, USA, Poland, France, Norway, Holland and Japan. He organizes the SunRay Folk Seminar in Macedonia, where he receives participants worldwide.
MARIANA PAUNOVA BULGARIA
A native of Bulgaria, graduated in Slavic Philology and Italian Philology from the University of Sofia “Sv. Kliment Ohridski”, Mariana specialized in language, literature and culture of the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, concluding Master's degree.
Since childhood she has been in close contact with music, dance and culture of various ethnic groups in Bulgaria and the Balkans. She started learning Bulgarian traditional dance at an early age and participated in several student dance groups.
Later, at university, she deepened her studies in ethnology and folklore aria, conducting researches into sacral symbolism of the dance and its role in rituals and religious practices. She participated in various seminars in Bulgaria, Serbia and Macedonia.
Since 1998 she has been living in Brazil where the encounter with the tribe of circle dances took her to further discoveries and studies with great Balkan dance teachers.
The work on the translation of the Paneurithmy and the practice of the same gave her a different approach to the ethnic dances, enriching her knowledge about the polyfunctionality of the circle dance as a universal tool for human spiritual growth.
In love with the rhythms of the Balkan region, their complexity and richness of expression, she disseminates the authentic dances and popular culture of the various Balkan peoples, teaching in regular classes, workshops and festivals all over Brazil and Latin America and organizing folk dance tours around the Balkans.