Balkan Festivals Northwest Presents
balkanalia! 2018

Petur Iliev

Petur is one of the most popular Bulgarian dance teachers in the United States. He started dancing in his native Bulgaria at age 5, and later studied at the Bulgarian National School of Dance Art and the Bulgarian National Institute of Choreography in Sofia, Bulgaria. He was a Principal Dancer of the Kutev National Dance and Music Ensemble for five years before continuing his training at the National Dance Institute in New York. In the States he has directed dance ensembles and created choreographies for groups in Texas, California, Chicago, and Washington state, and is the founder of the Iliev Dance Art Foundation, which produces highly successful educational programs. Petur has collaborated with distinguished American choreographers like Christian von Howard, Theresa Ruth Howard and Paula Weber, as well as with contemporary European composers who wrote music especially for his productions: Petar Ralchev, Peyo Peev, Nedyalko Nedyalkov, Svetoslav and Vladimir Karparov, Konstantin and Alexander Wladigeroff and Stoyan Yankoulov.

Petur is excited to return to Balkanalia and see his old friends, as well as make new acquaintances. Website: Facebook:

Cristian and Sonja

Cristian and Sonja

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. Cristian 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 and the ACAFR. In 1993, he joined Les Sortilèges, a professional folk dance company based in Montreal Canada, where he has 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 Sortileges 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.

Cristian and Sonia’s prior appearance at Balkanalia was in 2011. They are well-loved for their enthusiasm, style, humor and high energy. Some of their most popular dances include Made in Romania, Dana, Opinca, Opincuţa, Te Aven Baxtale, Încâlcita, Chef and Ina Ina. They present their dances clearly, with intelligence and joy. Sonia and Cristian’s personality and heart are exceptional —it's always fun to be with them!