STOCKTON FOLK DANCE CAMP
2017 Featured Guests
INTERNATIONAL NON-PARTNER DANCES
Roberto Bagnoli grew up in Rome, where he was first introduced to folk music and dance, eventually taking part in several performances and teaching dance classes. He subsequently studied various forms of folk dance in workshops throughout Europe, Israel and North America. From 1995 to 2003, he performed as a dancer and choreographer with the Terra di Danza Dance Company and was involved in the production of Raggi di Luna Italiana (Italian dances), GiroGiroMondo (dances from around the world), Keltic Emotion (Celtic dances), Mazal Tov (Israeli dances), and Ethnos (international folk dances). He currently organizes two dance camps in Europe: Balkanot (Balkan and Israeli dance) and Camp Yofi (Israeli dance).
Roberto has lectured and conducted workshops throughout Europe as well as on numerous occasions in North America, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.
Roberto lives in Reggio Emilia in Northern Italy. He first attended Stockton Folk Dance Camp in 2007 as a camper and has been on the faculty five times since then.
GEORGIAN NON-PARTNER DANCES
Caspar Bik was born in 1990 in the Netherlands. He was an active dancer from a young age in groups that presented Dutch dances as well as groups that showed international dances.
Caspar graduated in 2013 as a dance teacher at the dance academy Codarts in Rotterdam. Besides folk dancing, Caspar has experience in modern/contemporary dance, classical ballet, jazz dance, ballroom, and tap dance.
Since his graduation he has been teaching different dance styles to children, teenagers, and adults at amateur and professional levels. In 2014, he founded a youth school for theater arts which performs a stage musical every year for which Caspar creates the choreography. Both as a folk dance instructor and as a choreographer he has taught courses in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Turkey.
Caspar has been specializing in folk dances from countries around the Black Sea. His most recent research was in Georgia, where he trained with the professional ensemble Erisioni and traveled through the country to experience the variety and beauty of Georgian dance, song and music. This will be his debut at Stockton Folk Dance Camp and first appearance in the US.
Cristian Florescu & Sonia Dion
ROMANIAN NON-PARTNER DANCES
Sonia Dion and Cristian Florescu are known for their vibrant energy, warmth and exciting choice of dances and music.
Cristian Florescu was born in Bucharest, Romania. He started dancing in 1982 with different Romanian folk ensembles and studied with various specialists, including Theodor Vasilescu. He was principal dancer with the national ensemble Cununa Carpatilor. In 1990-91, he received his certificate as a recognized solo dancer and choreographer in the field of folklore from the Romanian Ministry of Culture. In 1993, he joined Les Sortilèges, a professional folk dance company based in Montreal, Canada, where he danced, taught, and choreographed. During his time in Canada, Cristian has acquired multiple skills in various dance forms, including modern dance, ballroom, jazz and tap, as well as French-Canadian and Irish step dancing.
Sonia Dion was born in Quebec and has been a professional dancer for over 20 years. She was lead dancer, choreographer and artistic director, among other roles, for Les Sortilèges dance company, Canada's oldest professional folk dance ensemble, with whom she developed several new productions. Sonia has toured worldwide and has been exposed to a wide range of dance techniques, including Romanian folk dance, Scottish Highland dancing, French-Canadian step dance and ballroom dance. It was at Les Sortilèges that Cristian and Sonia met and formed a professional and personal partnership. They have taught at l’École Supérieure de Danse du Québec and been part of the Artists in the Schools program, sponsored by the Quebec Ministry of Education.
In recent years, Cristian and Sonia have developed a specific interest in working with recreational folk dance groups. They’ve been teaching in Brazil, Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia to share their love of Romanian folk traditions. They have taught workshops in Canada and the United States and choreographed Romanian suites for performing groups, including the world-renowned BYU Folk Dance Ensemble in Utah. This will be Cristian and Sonia's eighth appearance at Stockton. Their fifth, in 2010, featured their wedding as part of Camp.
ENGLISH COUNTRY PARTNER DANCES
Bruce Hamilton is a well-respected, thoughtful and energetic teacher of English and Scottish dancing with 45 years’ experience. He has launched dance classes, trained teachers, coached performing groups and adjudicated festivals.
A retired research scientist, Bruce is always looking for new ways to understand and present ideas for the dancer. When he presents workshops he weaves many conceptual threads besides dance technique and choreography into his lessons. Musicality, sociability, and physiology are his current favorites. People often say they come away with a different way to experience and think about dance. Occasionally he holds a weekend teachers’ class that also draws high praise. He continues to runs a bi-weekly English dance class in the Bay Area. In the recent past he was the president of the Country Dance and Song Society. With invitations to teach at many festivals and dance camps each year, he has taught workshops all around the United States and in the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan and Australia.
Bruce lives in Menlo Park, California with his wife Jo along with the many dogs and cats that her rescue operation happens to have on hand.
RUSSIAN PARTNER DANCES
Radboud Koop, a native of the Netherlands, started international folk dancing at the age of 11 and was teaching recreational folk dance groups in the Netherlands by the age of 16. He has been dancing and teaching international folk dance ever since. More than 25 years ago, he became involved in Russian folk dances while working with Hennie Konings, a well-known Russian folk dance teacher from the Netherlands. Together with Hennie, Radboud attended classes, both in the Netherlands as well as in Russia, with Olga Zolotova, the director of the Pyatnitsky Ensemble folk dance school. Since that time, Radboud has been teaching Hennie’s Russian folk dance program in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, England, Italy, Canada and the US.
Radboud and his wife Christel have two sons aged 13 and 18. In his professional life he holds a PhD in physics and currently works with the Dutch Space Agency.
Radboud taught at Stockton Camp in 2008 and 2010.
FRENCH CANADIAN / INTERNATIONAL PARTNER DANCES
France Bourque-Moreau lives in Montreal, Quebec and for the past 35 years has been active in Canada and abroad teaching folk dances for children and conducting special seminars to train school teachers in this field. Her current repertoire includes hundreds of dances and rounds from all parts of the world especially designed and adapted to various age and experience levels. Ms. Bourque-Moreau also puts emphasis on the French and French-Canadian repertoire which is widely used in the Canadian school curriculum. She has been a regular consultant to the Montreal School Board. She was also actively involved with Montreal's annual Children Festival (La Fête des Enfants de Montréal) as coordinator of the «Entrons dans la Danse» participatory workshop.
France is the author of Je Danse Mon Enfance (I Dance My Childhood), published in 1979 by FLDQ in Montreal and now in its fifth printing. The book contains some 80 dances as well as useful tips on teaching, with emphasis on rhythms, formations, cultural background and psychomotricity. The book is approved by the Quebec Board of Education. In 1983, she co-authored with Michel Landry La Danse d'Inspiration Traditionnelle au Primaire, which suggests a pedagogical approach to teaching folk dance in elementary schools in relationship to holidays, rituals and trade guilds. It also looks at creative variations of traditional dances. Ms. Bourque-Moreau is also active in the ORFF music education movement and was president of the Quebec chapter of ORFF Music for Children Canada and former secretary on the national executive.
France has conducted lectures and courses across North America, Western Europe, Australia and Japan. For 15 years she performed with the folk dance ensemble Les Gens de Mon Pays, with whom she toured Europe and North America. She has also choreographed French-Canadian material for professional and amateur dance companies in Canada, the US, the Netherlands and Australia.
Her sessions with kids in Quebec elementary schools are eligible for funding through the Quebec government program La culture à l'école (Artists in the Schools). Her widely used CD Danse, mon coeur danse!, featuring French-Canadian dances, rounds and songs for elementary and pre-school children, has won much praise from educators throughout Canada.
Ms. Bourque-Moreau and her husband, Yves Moreau, also a world-renowned folklore specialist, co-direct Bourque Moreau Associés (BMA Productions), a consultation and production service in the field of multicultural folk arts.
In February 2015, she was the recipient of the Preserving Our Heritage Award given by the National Folk Organization U.S.A. (NFO) for a lifetime of work and achievement in Folk Dance and Folk Arts.
France will be partnered by Yves Moreau.
AMERICAN SQUARES AND CONTRAS
Tony Parkes has been calling square and contra dances for more than 50 years. Starting in the 1960s, he learned from many of the leading callers and teachers of the day, such as Don Armstrong, Don Durlacher, Michael and Mary Ann Herman, Dick Kraus, Dick Leger and Ralph Page. He has taught at Mainewoods, Mendocino, Ontario, and Texas folk dance camps, as well as at Augusta, Brasstown, Buffalo Gap and Pinewoods square/contra camps, and innumerable state and regional weekend festivals. His calling has taken him to 35 states, Canada, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, England and Germany.
Tony specializes in the contra dances and quadrille-type squares of New England and the “transitional” squares of the 1950s, when traditional Western square dancing was developing into the modern variety. Like his illustrious mentors, he believes in keeping these dance forms accessible to as many people as possible. He has beginners doing real dances within seconds, but can keep experienced dancers entertained with a bit of challenge or elegance.
Using traditional basic movements, Tony has composed over 90 square and contra dance routines, some of which have become modern classics. He is the author of a standard text on calling contras and is writing a companion volume on calling squares. Several recordings feature Tony as caller, pianist, director and/or producer. He is a core consultant to the Square Dance History Project (www.squaredancehistory.org), a virtual online museum of over 1,500 videos, audios, photographs, and articles documenting both traditional and modern square dancing.
Tony and his wife Beth, also a caller, live in the Boston area. When not at a camp, they divide their calling time between appearing at weekly and monthly dance series throughout (and beyond) New England, most with live music, and presiding at corporate, civic and private parties for people who are dancing for the first time.
MY MEN AND YOURS
Miamon Miller – Band Director
Michael Lawson – Accordion
Bill Cope – Rhythm
Simeon Pillich – Bass
Miamon Miller – Band Director, violin
Miamon began his musical career as a classical violinist but became entranced with the world of traditional music, joining the AMAN Folk Ensemble in the 1970s and later becoming its artistic director. Since that time, he has played in many groups, including the seminal Pitu Guli ensemble, the NAMA orchestra, Fuge Imaginea, Trei Arcuși and now his current quartet, the Garlic Band (www.GarlicBand.com).
Miamon studied ethnomusicology at UCLA, earning an MA and ABD whilst playing mariachi music in his spare time. He was awarded a Fulbright scholarship and spent a year living in Romania studying Transylvanian folk music.
Miamon is widely experienced in mainstream music and has recorded with many well-known artists, including Neil Sedaka and Neil Diamond. He has also composed and arranged music for film and television productions ranging from Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Arabs in Detroit, And Starring Pancho Villa As Himself, Keeping Up with the Steins, and the PBS documentary Swimming in Auschwitz. He has also composed for theater, most recently the score for the Polish Białystocki Teatr Lalek (Białystok’s enormously popular puppet theater) production Czarne Ptacki Białegostoku (The Black Birds of Białystok).
Michael Lawson – Accordion
Michael Lawson grew up in a large extended family that featured song and dance at family gatherings. International folk dancing has been a large part of their family life. Michael began classical piano lessons at age 6 and trumpet at age 11. In high school, he played trumpet in a community jazz band. In college, he picked up his mother’s accordion and learned to play it for his folk dance club. He fell in love with the rhythms and harmonies of Balkan music, a genre he has played extensively over the last 40 years.
He directed the folk dance bands Nisava, Balkan Cabaret and Kafana Republik as an accordionist and vocalist, recording several CDs. He is always busy playing for folk dance parties, festivals, camps and weddings. Michael performed in the 2013 movie Tazi Baba (This Grandmother), which features Penka Encheva, a native Bulgarian singer. He arranged her songs for accordion and recorded them with her. In the summer of 2016, Michael accompanied the Bulgarian Voices of Seattle Women’s Choir on a Bulgarian tour which included a spot on Bulgarian national TV.
Recently, Michael launched a new jazz band, Dreams Come True, playing keyboard and performing repertoire from the swing era.
In addition to playing with My Men and Yours, Michael will be leading the singing classes at Stockton Camp.
Bill Cope – Many, many Instruments
Bill Cope is a multi-instrumentalist who does not focus on just one instrument but performs on over 60 in many diverse concert settings. He began playing Balkan music in the mid-1970s after falling in love with the music while part of a dance group based in San Jose, California.
Bill began his teaching career giving lessons on tambura at the Mendocino Balkan Music & Dance workshops in 1982, and to date he has taught at many workshops around the country. Bill has been the music director of San Francisco-based WestWind International Folk Ensemble, AMAN International Dance Ensemble, Mendocino Folklore Camp, and the San Francisco Kolo Festival. He was the Administrative Director of the East European Folklife Center in the early `990s. He is currently the director of the San Francisco Kolo Festival. Over the past year he has ceased to work for technology companies and begun to focus on music. He has been rebuilding his family home in San Jose into a venue for house concerts and an Airbnb for traveling musicians and more than an occasional party!
Simeon Pillich – bass
Simeon Pillich has a well-earned reputation as the consummate versatile bassist, a fact proven by the diversity of the artists he has accompanied. The list includes Taylor Swift, Ziggy Marley, Dr. Dre, Bo Diddley, Al Jarreau, John Hiatt, Eartha Kitt, Alice Cooper, Anthony Newley, Burt Bacharach, Van Dyke Parks, Ry Cooder, Tito Puente, Rita Coolidge and Victoria Williams. He has also played in numerous film scores, including for Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, The Two Jakes, The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, and Lucky You. In addition, he is a period and ethnic music consultant for film and TV and for more than five years was the host of radio KPFK’s “Global Village,” where he championed and explored music from around the world. Simeon holds a PhD in ethnomusicology from UCLA. He teaches courses in world music at Occidental College and in jazz history and music theory at Santa Monica College.