It has now been 1 year and 8 months since I joined the Monday class of FDC Hackett.
This has been a profoundly uplifting experience, and I feel the need to express why what we do matters to me.
By Katerina Kormusheva
The wooden clock tower of Pazardzhik in the old posters.
In my first visit to the kitchen room of the Hackett hall, I looked at the posters on the wall and my heart skipped a beat: three posters showed Ensemble Pazardzhik, the dancing troupe of my hometown! The wooden clocktower which stands at the center of town is a place where I have been waiting for parents, boyfriends and friends on numerous dates. The marble circular stage nearby is where I first did my dance performance in front of an audience, with my parents looking anxiously from the crowd.
So, I immediately wrote to the choreographer and director of Ensemble Pazardzhik, whom I know very well. He is a classmate and a good friend of my father. He was touched to hear about the prominence of his old calendar posters in a place so far away. He sent us some new posters and video materials.
The 50th anniversary celebration of Ensemble Pazardzhik, our new poster.
At every party, seeing my hometown and hearing the music from my earliest childhood memories makes my hairs stand up and brings tears to my eyes. Every time I hear “Djangouritsa”, I recall my now-91-year-old grandmother leading the ‘horo’ at my wedding. Every time we listen to the patriotic soldierly march “Otkoga se e”, the wise words in “Pusta Mladost” or follow the story of the maiden “Biljana”, or get carried away in the harmonies of “Isu Byala Nedo”, we connect to a culture and a history more than a thousand years old. Bulgaria was established as a country in the year 681. In 2016, we still feel a spiritual connection to the songs and dances, even though we have so different backgrounds. This is an umbilical cord of civilization that should never be severed and you are instrumental in keeping it connected. Our hour-and-a-half rehearsals are much more than physical exercise for me. They melt the 15,358km distance between Canberra and Pazardzhik and they feed our souls.
I hope my teachers forgive me for the interruptions during classes, the repeated requests for the same songs, the stories and pronunciation lessons. I am forever grateful that FDC Canberra came into my life.
And for all of you, please, keep doing what you are doing. Bring your kids and grandkids to the fantastic children’s classes, and make sure the umbilical cord of beauty and art and dancing is kept intact for all coming generations as well.
(FDC is very happy you found us, too. Never apologise for having a passion. Ed.)
This article, written by Katerina Kormusheva, is reprinted from the September 2016 edition of Folk Tales.