“The young women swooped their arms in cupping motions and soft swirls, their necks curving downward. They moved as a community in parallel pairs and trios, sharing their stories and history. Their movements evoked sowing and gathering grain, like folk dances captured.” – Dance View Times, Aug. 31, 2011, Martha Sherman

The Elea Gorana Dance Collective, established in 2005 by Elissaveta Iordanova, is a New York-based collective of artists with the mission to present and preserve Bulgarian folk dance heritage including the Bulgarian folk dance rhythms, and traditional art of music, rituals, and costuming. The folk ensemble naturally evolved to include both Bulgarian and American dancers in a cultural partnership. Current programmatic activities include weekly community dance meetings and collaborations with other traditional artists, such as singers and musicians in educational lectures. Iordanova is a Fulbright Scholar; a recipient of the Bulgarian National Center for Music and Dance Award; and a grantee of LMCC’s MCAF, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by LMCC (2015). Iordanova’s work has been presented at JCC Manhattan, 92 Street Y, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Lotus Music and Dance, Green Space Bloom Festival, Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, Merce Cunningham Studio, and NYC International Fringe Festival. Her international credentials include Austria, France, Germany, Netherlands, Malta and Romania.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Paula Lobo