All posts by M.K. Brennan

A fabulous night of music: Bulgarika joins us on September 20

Folk Dance Brunswick will present “Balkan Bash III,” a dance night open to the public, with live music by the celebrated Balkan band Bulgarika, on Friday, September 20, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the People Plus community center, 35 Union Street, one block west of Maine Street, in downtown Brunswick, Maine.
All are welcome. Donation $10.
Bulgarika is a group of five master musicians with decades of performing experience, steeped in Bulgarian music and rhythms from a young age, who have delighted audiences and dancers throughout North America.
The band features Donka Koleva on vocals, Nikolay Kolev on gadulka (a string
instrument played with a bow), Temelko Ivanov on kaval (a chromatic end-blown flute),
Nikolay Kodzhabashev on tambura (a string instrument played with a plectrum), and
Marin Shalamov on tapan (a double-headed drum).
The music of Bulgaria is known for its hauntingly expressive melodies,
fascinating irregular rhythms, and fiery dance tempos.

Greek Dance Workshop with Joe Kaloyanides Graziosi on November 3


Folk Dance Brunswick will host a special Greek Dance Workshop and Dance Party led by internationally known folk dance teacher Joe Kaloyanides Graziosi of Massachusetts.

The nonprofit event will be held on Saturday, November 3, in two parts — a teaching session from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. and an evening dance party from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. — at the People Plus community center, 35 Union Street, one block west of Maine Street, in downtown Brunswick. All are welcome for both parts of the event. Suggested donation $10.

“Joe is an exciting teacher — fun, easy to understand, and very energizing,” says Solange Kellerman, chair of the Folk Dance Brunswick entertainment committee that organized the event. “These Greek dances are beautiful, with beautiful music — and people love learning them. It’s going to be a great event!”

Joe was born and raised in greater Boston. Of Greek and Italian ancestry, he was exposed Greek music and dance at an early age. He began his formal study of traditional Greek dance in 1975 during a semester-abroad program in Athens. Since then he has done extensive independent research in Greek folk music and dance and has compiled an exhaustive library of scholarly research, video recordings, and musical archives. He has danced for and advised several Greek American performing groups. In 1982, under the sponsorship of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ethnic Folk Arts Center, he directed the Greek Music Tour, composed of highly esteemed practitioners of traditional music from both Greece and the U.S. immigrant community who performed throughout the northeastern U.S.

Today Joe teaches at major dance camps, weekend seminars and retreats throughout the U.S. He has also taught in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, England, Mexico, Brazil, Taiwan, and Japan and been a guest lecturer for the ethnomusicology departments of the Universities of California Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. He serves as advisor and judge for Greek folk dance festivals across the country and has produced numerous anthology CDs.

Balkan Bash II: Gogofski Returns!

On June 29, our “Balkan Bash II” dance night will feature live music by the Boston band Gogofski with vocalist Kasia Sokalla. All are welcome. [Photo courtesy of George Simonson.]
We’ll be hosting “Balkan Bash II” dance night with live music by the Boston band Gogofski on Friday, June 29, from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. at the People Plus community center, 35 Union Street, one block west of Maine Street, in downtown Brunswick. All are welcome. Donation $10.

Gogofski is a four-person Balkan-style band with vocalist Kasia Sokalla of Poland, Dave Golber on clarinet, Gawain Thomas on accordion, and Henry Goldberg on the Balkan tupan drum. The band has played throughout the Northeast and been acclaimed as “awesome” for providing “a wonderful evening.”

“We’re very excited to dance again to the music of Gogofski,” says Folk Dance Brunswick president Mary Brennan of Harpswell. “The last time they were here they blew the roof off. It’ll be another great night of dancing!”

Clarinetist Dave Golber adds, “We play intensely emotional, grab-you-by-the-heart music, drawing on older and newer traditional music from all over the Western edge of the Ottoman Empire to create a repertoire of powerful songs — songs of unrequited love, songs of seduction and deception, songs of the promise of happiness held against the pain of loss.” You can read more about the band at

In the early part of the evening, selected dances will be taught for newcomers.

No street shoes on the dance floor. Please bring a spare pair!

See you soon.