The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)
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Information: Alex Marković, teacher of Balkan dance.
Alexander "Alex" Marković has an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He wrote his doctoral thesis on identity politics and musical performance among Romani brass musicians in Vranje, Serbia, conducting 17 months of field research in the area. His general research interests include music, dance, and ritual in the Balkans, ethnic identity and nationalism, the anthropology of performance, and ethnomusicology.
Stemming from his academic interests, Alex actively researches, teaches, and performs folk dances from Serbia and Greece. His specialties include the dance and music traditions of southeastern Serbia and Kosovo. He is also interested in Romani dance/music traditions of southeastern Serbia, Kosovo, and Macedonia. His Ph.D. fieldwork allowed him to extensively document both Romani and Serbian dance culture in the Vranje area. Alex also researches and teaches a variety of Greek regional dance traditions: Pontic, Macedonian, Thracian, Asia Minor, and various island repertoires.
He began performing Serbian folk dance at the age of seven, and Greek dance at the age of 15. He has taught dance to performing groups at various Serbian Orthodox churches in the greater Chicago and northwest Indiana area, as well as for Greek groups in Chicago associated with the Pontian Society Xeniteas, the Greek Macedonian society Makedonia, Ellas, and as a guest instructor with the Orpheus Hellenic Folklore Society. He also regularly offers public lectures and workshops based on his research in dance, music, and anthropology of the Balkans.
When he is not reading, writing, teaching, or dancing, Alex also enjoys playing Balkan percussion on the tupan/tapan/goč drum, the tarabuka (Turkish-style doumbek), and def (frame drum). He is particularly interested in Romani percussion styles from southern Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Greece, and Turkey.
Dances Alex has taught include Bugarčica, Crossing Dances, Kosovska (Ashkali) Gajda, Memede, Pembe, Romski (Romani) Čoček, Švrljig Kolo, Vrankanka.
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