Joan Carol Friedberg danced with the Greek Intersection Dancers and Panegyri dance companies in Los Angeles from 1972 to 1978. She was a musician (llautë and cifteli) and singer with the Drita Albanian Folk Ensemble from 1983 until 2002. She has performed with Los Angeles Greek bands Paradosi, Sto Horio, and Triandafilia and also played laouto for the award-winning Junior Olympians at the annual Greek Orthodox FDF (Folk Dance Festivals) in 2001, 2002, and 2003.
Joan traveled to Crete and Santorini in 1971. She later traveled for three months in the Balkans and Turkey in 1982, observing dance events in the Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Greece.
She has made six trips to Greece, three of them focusing on the Florina region, in order to document village dances and record traditional musicians. As a result of these endeavors, she produced a CD, Florina: Yesterday and Today, and in 2004, a DVD, Dances of Florina, Macedonia, Greece.
> She has published several articles about Greek folklore and served as contributing editor of The International Greek Folklore Society's Laografia from May 1995 to February 1996. Her research has twice been published in Greece in the Proceedings of the International Organization for Folk Arts (I.O.F.A.) – UNESCO, in 1997 and 2000. Her papers can be found in English on her website www.JoanCarolFriedberg.com.
While she teaches dances from many regions of Greece, her particular focus is on those dances she has personally observed in their context in villages of Epirus and Western Macedonia. Her philosophy as a teacher is to help dancers understand the music and capture the emotion and mood of the dance rather than simply mimic the movements.
Joan's articles and publications include
Dances Joan has taught include Douzikos, Gaida, Hasapiko, Beratis, Pousteno (Levendikos), Starsko Poustseno (Gerondikos), Stis Treis, Syrtos, Tsamiko, and Za Ramo.