Balkan Ceilidh

Balkan Ceilidh

part of Thistles and Sunflowers festival and Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022

#ThistlesandSunflowers #YS2022 

29 May 2022 | 8.30pm | Scottish Storytelling Centre | 43-45 High Street Edinburgh EH1 1SR

Tickets are on a Pay What You Can scale. Suggested amount is £5

Dance the night away with artists and stories from the lands of thistles and sunflowers. Follow the lead of Ceilidh caller extraordinaire Caroline Brockbank and accordion player Colin Garvin. Take a break from ‘stripping the willow’ to learn your first Balkan Horo led by resident Thistles and Sunflowers artist, the Bulgarian folk dancer and choreographer Ariana Stoyanova (See Dance Fusion here). 

Retrace your Ceilidh steps and collect your breath while The Laid-Back Community Choir takes centre stage. Led by Yana Aleksandrova, our resident Thistles and Sunflowers storyteller (See The Forgotten Magic of Bulgaria here), the choir premieres a newly arranged bilingual repertoire. Find out why bilingualism matters from our guest storyteller, the cognitive neuroscientist Thomas Bak.

Alternate your Balkan Ceilidh and Horo dance steps and let spoken word artist, Perthshire Makar and language activist Jim Mackintosh speak, reading his poetry as featured in the exhibition Thistles and Sunflowers Poetry Trail here.

Thistles and Sunflowers festival at a glance

“Nectar for insects, seeds for birds and symbols for nations, Thistles and Sunflowers is a festival spotlighting stories and artists from Scotland and Bulgaria. We conceived the Balkan Ceilidh as a finissage of our festival weekend marking the fifth anniversary of the Bulgarian Cultural and Educational Centre Scotland – the only independent non-profit and non-venue based arts, culture and education organisation of its kind in Scotland. It also marks the National Day of the Cyrillic Alphabet honouring Bulgarian cultural heritage, literature and the arts every 24 May. Finally, it also celebrates Scotland’s Year of Stories showcasing and celebrating stories inspired by, created and written in Scotland.”

Iliyana Nedkova and Daniela Dimova-Yaneva, curators

Thistles and Sunflowers Balkan Ceilidh is a new commission by the Bulgarian Cultural and Educational Centre Scotland and curated by Iliyana Nedkova and Daniela Dimova-Yaneva in a partnership with Scottish Storytelling Centre, Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland, Bilingualism Matters, Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in the UK, New Bulgarian Cultural Platform, Scottish Poetry Library and CeilidhKids. 

Part of Year of Stories 2022 and Thistles and Sunflowers festival running 18 May – 5 June 2022 at Scottish Storytelling Centre  – a spotlight on stories and artists from the lands of thistles and sunflowers. Festival initiative of the Bulgarian Cultural and Educational Centre Scotland, Thistles and Sunflowers is curated by Iliyana Nedkova and Daniela Dimova-Yaneva and supported by the City of Edinburgh Council Flexible Fund, as well as Tasgadh Fund for Traditional Arts devolved from Creative Scotland and managed by Fèisean nan Gàidheal.  

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