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At the Balkan Camp, Thirty Years of Music, Fun and Friendship

Friday, August 16, 2013

Balkan Music And Dance Camp (Mirela Iverac/WNYC)

Teenagers to 70-year-olds, hand in hand, form a circle as they dance to the music of a live brass band. As the circle moves, the dance hall vibrates. Welcome to the Balkan dance and music camp. At 10 p.m., the party is just getting started. 

While many New York City kids have the luxury of going off to camp in the summer, it's the rare group of adults who slip away for a week of organized play. But that's just what happens each year in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Balkan music, dance and singing classes during the day; Balkan-style partying during the night.

“We have this village that we create,” said Dan Mullen, who’s been coming to the camp for 28 years. “And we just keep coming back to it over and over. ‘Cause it’s the best part of our whole lives.”

Click the audio above to listen to the story.

Editors:

Karen Frillmann

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Comments [7]

Olibri Jean weetner

that good

Oct. 31 2013 12:42 AM
Jay House Samios from NYC

Yes, as Yvonne and Craig say you can get more info at www.EEFC.org. I am the executive director of the organization, and want to add that we have robust scholarship and work-exchange programs, which are ways to get to the workshops at a reduced cost. Please feel free to send any questions to office@eefc.org.

Aug. 19 2013 06:56 PM
Mark Forry from Baja, Hungary

So nice to hear the meeting of two old favorites, NPR and Balkan Music and Dance Camp. I started attending Balkan camp in 1975 in Sweets Mill, CA -- that's about the time I started listening to NPR in LA, where I was attending grad school in ethnomusicology at UCLA. Balkan camp has been a central part of my life ever since; not a week goes by that I don't dream about Camp. It's been a part of my professional life too, I have a PhD in ethnomusicology and now live in central Europe, where I continue to be involved with traditional music. It's been a path with heart for most of my life.

Aug. 17 2013 06:44 PM
Mark Forry from Baja, Hungary

So nice to hear the meeting of two old favorites, NPR and Balkan Music and Dance Camp. I started attending Balkan camp in 1975 in Sweets Mill, CA -- that's about the time I started listening to NPR in LA, where I was attending grad school in ethnomusicology at UCLA. Balkan camp has been a central part of my life ever since; not a week goes by that I don't dream about Camp. It's been a part of my professional life too, I have a PhD in ethnomusicology and now live in central Europe, where I continue to be involved with traditional music. It's been a path with heart for most of my life.

Aug. 17 2013 06:44 PM
Yvonne Wingard from Columbus, OH

There are different teachers each year, although many come back year to year. There are classes in MANY kinds of singing, dancing, and various Balkan instruments. ANYONE can come. I was blessed enough to go for four years; my first year I hardly KNEW anything about the music but I learned SO MUCH! Check out the website...www.eefc.org. You can fall in love, too!

Aug. 17 2013 08:19 AM
Craig Kurumada from Arcata, California

All the information about these camps (there is also one on the West Coast in Mendocino, California) can be found at the East European Folklife Center's website: www.eefc.org

Aug. 16 2013 02:12 PM

And who is the leader of the camp? Who are instructors?

Aug. 16 2013 12:16 PM

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