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Alexander "Alex" Marković received his M.A. in Anthropology in 2007, and is currently finishing his doctoral dissertation on identity politics and musical performance among Romani brass musicians in Vranje, Serbia, at the Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois-Chicago. He spent a total of 17 months conducting fieldwork in Vranje on music, weddings, and ethnic identity. His research interests include music, dance, and ritual in the Balkans, ethnic identity and nationalism, the anthropology of performance, and ethnomusicology.
Stemming from his academic interests, Alex has actively researched, performed, and taught folk dances from Serbia and Greece for the past 10 years. His specialties include the music and dance traditions of southeastern Serbia, particularly in the Leskovac, Surdulica, Vranje, Bujanovac, Pčinja, and Bosilegrad regions, as well as the Gnjilane (Gilane) area of eastern Kosovo. In addition to Serbian repertoires, he is also interested in Romani dance traditions from southern Serbia, Kosovo, and Macedonia. His extensive Ph.D. research in Vranje, Serbia allowed him to conduct in-depth fieldwork on the dances of both Romani and Serb communities in the area. Alex also researches and teaches a variety of Greek regional dance traditions, focusing particularly on diverse Pontian, Thracian, Macedonian, and select island repertoires.
He has taught dance to performing ensembles at various Serbian Orthodox churches in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, as well as for Greek dance groups affiliated with the Pontian Society "Xeniteas" and the Greek Macedonian Society "Makedonia" in Chicago. Currently, Alex is co-instructor and performer with the Chicago-based Greek folk dance group Ellas, and a guest instructor with the Orpheus Hellenic Folklore Society of Chicago. He also offers public dance workshops and presentations on his research in dance and anthropology.
When he is not reading, writing, or dancing, Alex also enjoys playing Balkan percussion on the tŭpan/goč drum, tarabuka (Turkish-style darbuka/doumbek), and def (frame drum). He is particularly interested in Romani playing styles, improvisation, and dance rhythms from southern Serbia, Kosovo, and Macedonia.