Veselo Festival: January 25-26, 2020

Learn Albanian & Balkan dances from Steve Kotansky and dance in the evening to the live music of 2 groups: Orkestar RTW and Mark Levy/Nora Holmquist.

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PDF of 2020 Festival Flyer

Steve Kotansky

“Steve Kotansky began dancing as a teenager in the San Francisco Bay Area where he taught and performed with the Westwind International Folk Ensemble and the Perfiloff Russian Dance Ensemble. In 1970 he made his first research trip to Hungary and the former Yugoslavia, returning to study dance and Slavic languages at UCLA. Steve danced with AMAN Folk Ensemble and Vincent Evanchuk’s Ukrainian Dance Group while teaching at many of the folk dance coffee houses in Los Angeles. In 1972 he made a research trip to Hungary and the former Yugoslavia to learn and document village dances with Robert H. Leibman (including dances and music from the Albanian village of Krani on Lake Prespa in Macedonia). During this trip he met many dance specialists who would become instrumental in the direction of his life including Pece Atanasovski, Desa Djordević, Dr. Ivan Ivančan, and Dobrijvoje Putnik.


Steve would spend the next 8 years living in Munich, Germany where he continued to teach and research ethnic dance. He co-founded, directed, and choreographed for the Gajda Folkore Ensemble, inviting top dancers and teachers from Central and South-Eastern Europe to Germany and led tours to Hungary and the Balkans. In 1980, he returned to the U.S.A. settling in New York. He continued to teach at dance camps throughout North America and Mexico, choreograph for many dance ensembles, and with his wife Susan, co-founded the Guzsaly Hungarian Dance Ensemble. Steve continues to teach and research dances from the Balkans, and with his wife Susan, has made two trips to Albania." Source (text and first photo): Source second photo:

Orkestar RTW

Orkestar RTW is a five-piece band based in Seattle, Washington that started in 1987 as the house band for the Radost Folk Ensemble. Named in the tradition of post-World War II Balkan radio and television house bands (such as Orkestar Radio-Televizije Beograd), Orkestar RTW (Radio-Televizije Washington) plays the music of those bands, primarily traditional dance and folk music from the countries of Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Serbia. Source:



Mark Levy
(accompanied by Nora Holmquist on tupan)

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 University of Oregon School of Music and Dance, where he taught courses in ethnomusicology, coordinated a world music concert series, and directed the UO East European Folk Music Ensemble.

Mark has made numerous trips to the Balkans (especially Bulgaria and Macedonia), and has performed clarinet; Thracian, Rhodope, Macedonian, and Serbian gajda; and other aerophones with Aman, Pitu Guli, The Balkantones, Slavej, and Kef. Source: