Liz Mellish and Nick Green
We both started dancing at an early age and became interested in the traditional dances of Europe over 25 years ago. In this time we have taught dancing for the Society for International Folk Dancing and Imperial School of Teachers of Dance specialising in the dances of southeast Europe and Scandinavia. Our interest in these countries has extended to include the music, costume and traditions, with our research now centering on Romania and Bulgaria. Since 1986 we have both travelled extensively in South East Europe attending dance courses, and undertaking ethnographical research into dance, music, costume and customs in the area. We currently dance with Martisorul Romanian group in London and Sonce Macedonian group and are members of the Vupros folk music group. In the past we have also been members of Balaton Hungarian and Sborenka Balkan group.
Liz was trained in ballet, and modern dance which developed into an interest in national and folk dance. Her initial interest in south east Europe arose from attendance at several dance courses specialising in this area. She is currently a mature PhD student at UCL School of Slavonic and East European studies in London and her research topic is the history of Romanian folk ensembles and their place in Romania today. Her main academic interests are in the anthropology and ethnology of south east Europe with particular reference to Romania, Bulgaria and Macedonia. She is also interested in renovating traditional folk costumes, practical archaeology and genealogy.
Nick's initiation to folk dance was in English folk and Morris dance when he was very young, his parents were dancing European folk dance since the early '50s. At the age of 15 he encountered Bulgarian music and dance at English "folk camp", and stated to play accordion. Since then he has attended many dance courses and travelled throughout Romania and Bulgaria, and taught dance at many workshops. His main interests are in Balkan music, dance choreography, Balkan prehistory, cultural diffusion and how all these aspects inter-relate. Due to his background as a physicist his academic approach leans more towards the analytical and quantitative angles. Currently Nick works full time as a professional engineer, so has to fit his research and our website into his spare time.