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Detelina Japanese Folk Dancing Group in Bulgaria.
Detelina Japanese Folk Dancing Group in Bulgaria.

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Detelina Japanese Folk Dancing Group in Bulgaria.
6 December 2005 - Sofia, Bulgaria

Exceptional dancing, outstanding singing, colourful, exquisite costumes and prodigious music all contributed to a marvellous concert held recently at the Military Club in Sofia, Bulgaria.
As well as the famous Bulgarian National folklore ensemble PHILIP KOUTEV, the visiting folklore ensemble DETELINA from Tokyo, Japan, performed Bulgarian national dances. The concert was breathtaking and as it was held in a smaller venue the audience was closer to the stage and therefore more "connected."

As always, the performances by ensemble PHILIP KOUTEV were splendid. However, those by ensemble DETELINA were also very impressive. It was amazing to see eleven Japanese women, ranging in age from 55 to 62, doing a Shoppian dance, and others, in true Bulgarian style, dressed in the relevant regional costumes. "Lazarki" was danced with the Philip Koutev choir and the Philip Koutev orchestra provided music for the other dances.

The choreographer, Shiro Ishizaka, lived in Bulgaria some years' ago and since then has returned for Balkanfolk workshops, to learn Bulgarian dances and the musical instrument, gaida. Shiro is very talented and treated the audience to a dance from Dobrudzha; a couple of combinations from "Dzhinovsko"; and also played the gaida and flute.

The Karakachanski dance presented by ensemble PHILIP KOUTEV , with the women dressed in costumes which were predominantly black and white (with red and white aprons and orange headscarves), and the men wearing fustanellas, is so different it is always fascinating to watch. The music is soulful, haunting and beautiful.

Ensembles PHILIP KOUTEV and DETELINA each performed three dances, interspersed with songs by the Filip Koutev choir of twentytwo women, with their lovely harmonic voices, and a segment with just two of the singers. The sixteen piece orchestra featured too, playing various pieces of music, and sounded fantastic.

The Shoppian suite performed by seven men and eight women from PHILIP KOUTEV, and the choir singing "Bre Petrunko malay mome" was a wonderful finale to a superb concert. The applause of the audience in the packed hall showed the appreciation felt by everyone and it seems certain that all left in a state of euphoria.

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Anna Travali

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