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Folk Dance Federation of California, South, Inc.

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Romanian Folk Ensemble

By Dick Oakes



Bessarabia Bessarabia Romanian Folk Ensemble was a group of dancers led by Mihai and Alexandru David that met at Mihai's Gypsy Camp on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. The group, which was formed in 1975, performed Balkan, European, and Romanian dances. Dancers from Albania, Armenia, Israel, Montenegro, and Romania were in the group which consisted of 30 dancers and five musicians, and used very syncopated rhythms, played on a variety of native instruments.

In a dance from the Transylvania region, "If a man is a better dancer, people will also think of him as a better person, and so he will be able to make a better marriage. The same is true of the women . . ." said Mihai.

It got off the ground and soon right into the ground for as Mihai says, "You can blame it on me or my managerial skills."

Bessarabia was a great ensemble with great dancers and because of that Mihai had very high expectations for the group, such as going on tour. He also hoped that a Romanian orchestra would show up soon. "It didn't happen that way, however," Mihai Said.