Folk Ball is held every January/February at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin.

For regular dancing, see the Madison Folk Dance Unlimited site.

28th Annual Folk Ball Festival
January 29–31, 2016
Union South (1308 W Dayton St; Madison, WI)

29th Annual Folk Ball Festival
January 27th–29th, 2017
Union South


 Southern Balkan Romani Dance Workshop with Carol Silverman & Alex Markovic

   — dances of the cocek family with gender-appropriate styling

 Serbian & Greek dance workshops with Alex Markovic

 Yiddish (E. European Jewish) dance workshops with Steve Weintraub

 Singing workshop (Balkan Romani) with Carol Silverman

 Legenyes dance workshop with Dan Talmo

 Campus talk (Fri. noon) & Brownbag Lunch talk (Sat. noon) by Carol


 Brand-new Romanian band from Twin Cities (Katrina Mundinger on taragot!)

   adds spice to the Saturday party lineup

Pre-Festival Talk  (Friday, Jan.29)
"Global Gypsy: Balkan Romani Music, Appropriation & Representation"
 Carol Silverman, Prof. of Cultural Anthropology & Folklore, Univ. of Oregon
 Noon - 1:00pm in Room 1335 of Sterling Hall

   475 N. Charter Street, Madison WI 53706


 INT'L DANCE PARTY in Varsity Hall ballroom 7:30pm-12:30am


   YID VICIOUS — Virtuous Klezmer Crew (Yiddish via Madison)

   REPTILE PALACE ORCHESTRA — High-Octane Eclectic Ethnic

   DO ZORE — The Milwaukee Sound from a New Generation

    Instruction 7:30-8:00pm,  Dance 8:00-11:00pm
    Calling by Carol Ormand,  Music by A RARE PRIVILEGE
    Suggested Donation: $10 at the door 
    CONTRA LOCATION: The Crossing (1127 Univ.Ave) 
      Enter downstairs hall via shielded door off lot at rear of building.
      Please bring Dancing Shoes -- help keep a clean floor. Thanks!

SATURDAY WORKSHOPS (Jan.30 at Union South)
10:00-noon  Balkan Romani Dance Styling - Carol Silverman & Alex Markovic
              Gender Styling of folk dances of the Roma (Gypsies)
              Varsity Hall II  (2nd floor) 
10:00-noon  Yiddish Dance (E. European Jewish "klezmer" tradition)
              Steve Weintraub
              Varsity Hall III (2nd floor)
11:00-5:00  Video Lounge - continuous screening of three short features
              Traditions Room  (2nd floor)                         
Noon-1:00   Brown Bag Lunch Talk - Carol Silverman 
              "Balkan Romani Music & Dance."
              Northwoods Room (3rd floor)
1:30-3:00   Balkan Singing - Carol Silverman
              Romani (Gypsy) songs
              Northwoods Room  (3rd floor)
1:30-3:00   Greek Folkdance - Alex Markovic
              Pontic dances of Garasarin, Black Sea region of NE Turkey
              Varsity Hall II   (2nd floor)
1:30-3:00   Legenyes - Dan Talmo
              Hungarian lads' dance from Transylvania (all welcome)
              Varsity Hall III  (2nd floor)  
3:00-5:00   Serbian Folkdance - Alex Markovic
              Dances of Gilane/Gnjilane/Gjilan area of eastern Kosovo
              Varsity Hall II   (2nd floor)
3:00-5:00   Yiddish Dance (E. European Jewish "klezmer" tradition)
              Steve Weintraub
              Varsity Hall III  (2nd floor)
SATURDAY VIDEOS (Jan.30 at Union South)

New to the Saturday schedule for Folk Ball 2016 is a Video Lounge in the Traditions Room of Union South. Feel free to visit the lounge to relax, enjoy lunch or a snack, and view some intriguing films featuring Balkan and Carpathian folk music. The Traditions Room is just around the corner from Varsity Hall, Folk Ball's main venue.

The three films are to be screened:

Kang e Defa (30 min) by Vincent Moon & Fatime Kosumi (10:30am, 12:10pm3:15pm)
What is the sound of Kosova’s landscape? How does a land marked by war expresses harmony through its women, through those ancient songs? « Kang e Defa » is an exploration of female rhapsodies across the youngest country in the Balkans. A poetic road trip, a collage of stories, of characters, of music. And more than anything else, a celebration of Kosova’s women.

Film Message from Gyimes (35 min) by Jenõ Hartyándi (12:40pm3:45pm)
A collection of scenes recorded from 1991-1993 in Hungarian villages of the Gyimes region of the Carpathian Mountains (Transylvania) in Romania. These are some of the first recordings made after the fall of Ceausescu and an opening of rural areas for ethnographic research. Depicted in the film are living pastoral scenes and customs including cooking, haying, horseshoeing, hog slaughtering (graphic image warning!), purging evil spirits, and, of course, traditional music and singing. Sorry, no subtitles.

Esma Redzepova and Ansambl Teodosievski (65 min) 
by The Village Dance House (11:00am1:20pm)
Esma’s first concert in Madison, recorded July 15, 1997 at Edgewood College

In sequence:
10:30am Kang e Defa
11:00am Esma Redzepova
12:10pm Kang e Defa
12:40pm Film Message from Gyimes
1:20pm Esma Redzepova
3:15pm Kang e Defa
3:45pm Film Message from Gyimes

BUFFET DINNER -- convenient on a busy winter day!

  Serving Saturday at 5:00 in Industry Room (3rd floor)
  Lasagna (meat or vegetarian), salad, Italian squash medley,
    bread sticks, cookies, coffee/tea/milk/soda,water.
  Per person $20. Reservations required --

    Contact Michael / 608-241-3655

or inquire at festival Info Table in Varsity Hall.


 Varsity Hall ballroom of Union South — 7:00pm - 12:30am

   SIMBRA OILOR — Brand-New Romanian band from Minneapolis!

   ORKESTAR BEZ IME — Flagship IFD band of the Twin Cities

   SLOBODA — Milwaukee's Full-Spectrum Ethnic Sound

   VESELIYKA — traditional Bulgarian folk orchestra (Madison)

  Review of workshop dances presented Saturday by 
  Carol Silverman, Alex Markovic, & Steve Weintraub
  10:30am - 12:30pm in Varsity Hall II  (Union South, 2nd floor) 

Carol Silverman
   - researcher, teacher, performer, author, educational activist
   - award-winning professor of cultural anthropology & folklore, focus 
       on Balkan folkore, ethnography, & human rights issues of Roma
   - teacher of Balkan singing around the world 
   - author of prize-winning book 
Romani Routes: Cultural Politics and 
         Balkan Music in Diaspora
Alex Markovic -- exceptional "insider informant" on contemporary
       Balkan Dance (Romani, Serbian, Greek)
  Steve Weintraub -- our favorite Yiddish (Eastern European Jewish)
       dance instructor and a Folk Ball veteran 
PARKING suggestions
  UW Lot 17 ramp a block west of Union South on Engineering Dr off N Randall Ave
  UW Lot 20 ramp north of Union South on right side of (westbound) Univ Ave
  UW parking map: ParkingMap.pdf

THE MONEY: Folk Ball is funded solely by your GENEROUS DONATIONS.

 Come and go as you please, but do bring CASH, bring your CHECKBOOK,

 bring your FRIENDS! Make a single full-weekend contribution at Info

 Table in Varsity Hall (checks to "Madison Folk Dance Club") or donate  

 at each event you attend, but DO YOUR PART to keep Folk Ball an open,

 free-flowing celebration. THANKS!

SUGGESTED DONATIONS: Workshop $15, Party $30, Weekend $100


QUESTIONS: Michael 608-241-3655 /

Presented by Wisconsin Folk Arts Assoc. & Madison Folk Dance Club

Co-sponsored by Department of Slavic Languages & Literature

Welcomed by WORT 89.9FM Community-Sponsored Radio

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Previous Years: 2015 2014 2013 2012

Website Questions/Comments: Christopher