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Larry Weiner is one of the foremost experts in traditional dance, music, and customs of the Balkan Peninsula. Both a superb teacher and excellent dancer, he has a knack of making seemingly complex dances and rhythms accessible and fun for dancers at all experience levels.
Larry has been involved with Balkan traditional music and dance since the early 1960s. Principally a dance researcher, he has made numerous trips to Yugoslavia (including trips to the Resia Valley on the border of Italy and Slovenia), Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, and Hungary to study traditional dance in its native setting and to record and film folk music and dance as living social traditions.
He has taught Balkan dance workshops throughout North America with his wife and teaching partner, Margaret Loomis. He has directed various Balkan music and dance camps since the early 1970s. In addition to his strong background in traditional dance, Larry plays tŭpan (Bulgarian big drum) and tarabuka (small hand drum) and currently serves as the manager for Lyuti Chushki, a band that plays "spicy traditional Bulgarian music."
Tsvetelina "Tsvety" Dosseva, lead vocalist of Lyuti Chushki, is married to Larry's son, Bryndyn Weiner, an excellent dancer who occasionally sings with the group. Tsvety was born and raised in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, but graduated from the University of Maryland. Coming from a family steeped in Bulgarian folk music, she has been singing since childhood. Her father, Lyuben Dossev, is one of Bulgaria's most famous kaval players and is a professor at the Plovdiv Academy of Music in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. He regularly tours the globe as the accompaniast on kaval with Iliana Bozhanova, a Bulgarian folk dance teaching specialist. Tsvety's mother, Tanya Dosseva, is one of Bulgaria’s most well-known singers, touring frequently with Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares, and is a regular vocalist in one of Bulgaria's most sought after wedding bands, the Konushenska Grupa (a.k.a. Konushensky Folk Orchestra) from Plovdiv.
Dances Larry has taught include Aloniotikos, Amolita Gaida, Bătută, Čekić, Dračevka, Dvata Pŭti, Hora la Bataie, Ibraim Odzha, Irjeusko, Kokonjiša i Mincta, Kukurigu Petle, Juta, Krivo Žensko Oro, Leventikos, Memede, Nevrokopsko Oro, Ora, Orovičanka, Paiduško, Postupano, Rezijanka, Romska Gaida, Romski Čačak, Romski Gaida, Rumenka, Sirteto, Sitna Čačak, Stara Vlaina, Staro Makedonsko Oro, Staro Oro, Svrljiski Čačak, Trojanac, Tropanka, and Zborsko Oro.