Nicholaas and Maki Hilferink
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Nicholaas "Nico" Hilferink is a Canadian citizen who was born and raised in Amsterdam, Holland, where he began folk dancing at the club Terpsichore. While he was performing with their demonstration group, he decided to improve his technique and enrolled in ballet and jazz classes at the Scapino ad Nel Roos dance Academies. Later he studied in New York at the Harkness School for Ballet Arts and performed with their training company. He also studied at the Juliard School.
In 1964, while working as a principal dancer with the Internationale Folkloristisch Danstheater, he met Theodor Vasilescu, choreographer for Rhapsodia Romana of Bucharest, Romania. Since then, Nico has worked regularly with Mr. Vasilescu and has also done his own research in Romania, having returned to that country every year for more than 30 years.
In Toronto, Nico danced with the National Ballet of Canada and Ballet Ys before traveling to Amsterdam for a return engagement with the International Folk Dancers. On his return to Canada, he founded the International Dance Ensemble and served as artistic director and principal choreographer. With the opening of the International Dance Studio, he also taught ballet, jazz, and character dance. He has danced in an choreographed performances for the Ottawa Dance Theatre and the National Arts Centre of Canada. His position at the latter was unique in that he performed as a dancer and choreographer and served in other positions as well.
Nico receives the full support of the Romanian Ministry of Culture and Education when he travels to Romania. In 1981, his study tour was funded by the Canada council.
Nico has been dancing, teaching, and doing choreographies since 1977 for folk dance groups throughout Canada. In 1984, he was invited to teach at Mid-American Folk Dance Conference, and since then Nico, with his wife Maki Kabayama (a well-known dance instructor in her own right), has been invited to teach all around the North America and several foreign countries.
Nico has also taught at the Asia Folk Dance Camp in the Far East and both Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Dances Nico has taught include Alunelul ca la Sadova, Aoleanul de la Fundu Paralui, Aoleanul de la Petreşti, Alunelul de la Fundu Paralui, Ardeleana de la Otelul Rosu, Ard o Focul Dragostea, Balta, Balta de la Fundu Padui, Bătrîneasca din Vicov, Boieresc, Bordeiul Amestecat, Brâul Rudarilor, Bugeacul ca pa Teleorman, Cadineasca, Cărăbăşiu din Caras, Cioful de la Vatra Dornei, Cîntecul Iedului din Tighele (Das Lid Funem Tighele), Cordrenesc, Dado la Dado (Joc Bătrînesc), Das Ţighele, De Araduit, Dela din Oprişor, Draculeţii, Floricica de la Casimcea, Galaonul de la Ostroveni, Geamparelele, Geamparelele de la Vadul Oii, Girliceanca, Haide Roate, Hora a Doua de la Goicea, Horă Bănăeaţeană, Hora Cirpenilor, Hora de la Chircani, Hora de la Însutăţei, Hora de la Medgidia, Hora de la Petroaniţa, Hora de Miere, Hora de la Munte, Hora de Mînă, Hora din Podgoria Aradului, Hora Dreapta, Hora Inceput, Hora Isalniţa, Hora Mare, Hora Mare No. 2, Hora Mare de la Munte, Hora Miresii, Iedera, Înî Vituî ni Feata Moi, Îvîrtita de la Avrig, Joc Bătrînesc (Dado la Dado), Joc de Leagăne, Lea Musat Armina, Mai Marie, Mănăstireanca, Mătura, Mătura de la Sînnicolaul Mare, Oltenia, Pe Batute, Pe Loc de la Glimboca, Posovoică, Posovoică din Glimboca, Pripoianca, Purtata, Roata Feciorilor, Româneşte de Puatat, Rustemul Cazut, Saltata de Mâna, Şi Corăbeasca, Sereghia, Sîrba de la Dragaşani, Sîrba de la Negru Voda, Sîrbuleţul de la Vulcana, Şchioapa şi Corăbeasca, Sereghia, Trei Pâzeste, Trilişeşti de la Gura Humorului, Vlăşcencuţa, and Vlaşcencuţa de la Petrosan.