Antika Bulgaria Folk Dance Ensemble and Cultural Club was established in the San Francisco Bay Area to rekindle the spirit of traditional music, songs, and dance in the hearts of Bulgarians and Friends. The group sprouted the loving care and guidance of Tanya Kostova, the leader, engine, and Artistic Director of Antika Bulgaria!
Tanya is the reason for many of our young and youngest Bulgarians, some of them born and raised in the United States, to have danced their first folk-dance steps and regained their Bulgarian identity abroad against the odds. Antika Bulgaria’s children’s school “Martenichki” organized by a few members of Antika Bulgaria has been instrumental in bringing up the young Bulgarians as Bulgarians.
While Antika Bulgaria has brought up a number of “crops” of the youngest Bulgarians into a state of cultural empowerment, but it has not left the adults behind. Some (or most) of us, active and alumni members of Antika Bulgaria, feel we have acquired a more intuitive understanding of Bulgarian folklore in a way we never did in Bulgaria. The knowledge/heritage that Tanya carries with her has been passed onto many, new and experienced alike, and continues to re-establish Bulgarian cultural continuity away from home.
Antika Ensemble organizes three major cultural events every year (and many smaller ones) where they showcase the dances and songs that the members of the Ensemble have learned, and re-create antique cultural celebrations and often re-invent them in the spirit of live tradition. These events often bring other Bulgarian communities from the West Coast and the United States at large.