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Atanas Kolarovski was born in Dračevo (near Skopje), Macedonia, of a family of expert dancers and musicians. From his early youth, Atanas had the opportunity to observe and participate in the dances of Serbians, Albanians, and Gypsies who live in the Skopje area.
He performed with the amateur group, Koko Racin. After World War II, he danced for two years with the Yugoslavian Army Ensemble. With the ensemble he was able to travel all over Yugoslavia, studying and learning regional dances and dance styles of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, and the two atonomies, Banat and Kosmet, whose cultures are completely different from the other six republics. He was asked to help form Tanec, the Macedonian State Folk Ensemble, where he remained for 19 years as artistic director, choreographer, and lead solo dancer, traveling the world for 16 of those years.
Atanas became a famed researcher, choreographer, consultant, and program director for many performing ensembles, such as Koko Racin, The Army Ensemble, Tanec, Ensemble Karpuc Pionerski, Blagoj Sosolcef, and Vlado Tasievski.
He has researched and collected dances and folk music from the different areas of southern Yugoslavia, including Macedonia, south Serbia, and Shiptar-Albania. In 1964, Atanas made his first teaching tour of the United States, Belgium, Germany, Holland, and Switzerland, awakening interest in Macedonian dance and music around the country and becoming known as "the man with the golden legs." After the second tour, he was reviewed as "the untiring teacher, researcher, chroeographer, consultant . . . a leading ambassador of Macedonia." Since then, besides having taught at all major folk dance camps throughout north America, he has also taught extensively in Europe and east Asia.
A great musician, Atanas plays the accordion, the tupan, the kaval, the zurla, and drums. Since the 1970s, he, along with his wife, Ljupka (who was also a lead dancer with Tanec), and daughter has made his home in Seattle, Washington, where, for a while, he operated a successful ethnic restaurant, "Yugoslavia," featuring old-country style cuisine. He still tries to return to his home in Macedonia yearly and still organizes and conducts tours to his native country.
Atanas has produced several fine recordings of the music of Yugoslavia, which include the dances he teaches, and may be obtained from your folk dance music outlet or from Atanas himself.
Dances Atanas has taught include Anuše, Baba Džurdža, Banjsko, Barjače, Bavno Lesno, Belasičko Oro, Berovka, Berovsko za Pojas, Brazdinsko, Brevsko za Ramo, Brusničko, Bufčansko, Bukite Oro, Čapkan Dimčco, Četvorka, Čije e Ona Mome, Čifte Čamče, Cigansko Povrateno, Čije e ona Mome, Ćiro, Čučuk, Čujes Mala, Čupurlika, Cvetkovo (Četkovo) Oro, Dafino, Dedo Mili Dedo, Deli Bečar, Deverovo Oro, Divlevo Oro, Djurdjevka, Dračevka, Draganovo Kolo, Drenica, Dvanaestorka, Egejsko Oro, Feruzva Ezgia, Feruzovo, Gajde Avasi Kolo, Gilanka, Gilansko, Gorno Selsko, Gostivarsko Oro, Gradmansko Oro, Gugo Mori, Gurgevka, Hunovo, Igraj Mome, Imate Li Vino, Ivanice, Janino, Jeni Jol, Jovanovo (Čoček), Jovano Oro, Kačerac, Kadino Selsko Oro, Kaladžoj, Kalajdžisko, Kasapsko Horo, Katlanovsko Oro, Kavadarvsko, Kopačka, Kozlevo, Krivo Palanačko, Krstačko Oro, Krstenoto, Kumanovska Igra, Kumanovsko Oro, Kumovo Oro, Lapovo Kolo, Laži Vere, Legnala Dana, Lesnoto Oro, Leši, Lesnoto (Lesno), Liljano Mome Ubavo, Lino Mome, Majke me Dava Daleko, Makedonska Sedenka, Makedonski Splet, Maleševka Oro, Maloj Moje, Marino, Mariovska Tresenica, Maško Egejsko, Maško Teskoto (Teskata Mško), Meglensko, Memede (Toska), Mesarisko Oro, Mogilče, Moj Minire, Na Šupelka, Naskovo Oro, Nevestinsko, Ohridska Pajduška, Ohridsko Oro, Osogovka, Ovčepolska, Pembe Oro, Pemko Oro, Pletenica, Postupano, Potrčano, Povrateno (Povračano), Pravo Dračevsko, Prištinka, Prva Ljubov, Rakotinečko Oro, Raštansko Oro, Resensko Oro, Rastansko Oro, Rekansko Oro, Rokoko Kolo, Romsko Feruzovo Oro, Romsko Oro, Rugovo, Sal Nok Ne Sum Zaspalo, Sarakina (Pajduška), Šarplaninsko, Sedenka, Šiptarka, Skopsko Cigansko, Šopska Petorka, Šopsko Žensko, Srečna Ljubov, Stankino, Stara Baba Džurđa, Stara Banja, Stara Maleševka, Stara Vranjanka Kolo, Staro Lesnoto, Staro Makedonsko, Staro Tikveško, Štipsko Oro, Štipsko Zaplenteno, Stojanovo, Svadbarsko Oro, Svatovsko Oro, Svekrvino Oro, Teško Veleško, Tino Mori, Topansko, Toska, Tri Godini Kate, U Kruševo Ogin Gori, U Šest Koraka, Valandovsko, Vasilice, Veleško Oro, Veselka, Vodarka, Vodarki Oro, Vodenki, Vlaško Kolo, Vranjanka Kolo, Vrni se Vrni, Zaečko, Zaspala Jana Janinka. Žensko Beranče, Žensko Čamče, Žensko Dračevsko, Žensko Šopsko, Zetvarsko Oro, and Zurladzisko.