Islamic Oriental, Balkan
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Helene Eriksen studied Dance Ethnology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and was later a doctoral candidate in Folklore, Slavistics and Turcology at the Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany. In Los Angeles she performed with AVAZ International Dance Theatre, Gypsy Dance Company, and Jasna Planina Ensemble. After a year at the Folkdance Academy in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, she was a guest of the Turkish State Folkdance Ensemble in Ankara. She directed her own ensemble Raqs-e Hilal for several years in Germany.
Helene is a teacher and choreographer of traditional dances of the Balkans and Islamic Orient. She lectures and publishes on dance ethnology and costume studies. In order to do this she has conducted many ethnological field research projects in Armenia, Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, Morocco, Romania, Tunisia, Turkey, the former Yugoslavia, the former USSR, as well as with immigrants in Germany and the United States. She speaks several languages. She is an active member of the Study Group on Ethnochoreology (ICTM/UNESCO). For several years she has been leading dance and culture study tours to Morocco.
As a dancer, she is in demand internationally, having given performances in Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Holland, Pakistan, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States.
Helene especially enjoys working in projects with musicians, including MOUSSEM: A Celebration of North African Music and Dance (with Iyad Haimour, Rhani Krija, Djamel Laroussi, Louis Soret and SiMohammed Qzibri), TAQSIM (with Bruno Aßenmacher and Anello Capuano), the Swedish ethno-band "Orientexpressen," "Ziryab," "Ssassa," and "The Shibli Band" as well as with Mohammed Askari (Egypt/Germany), Bruno Aßenmacher (Germany), Ziya Aytekin (Turkey), Nabil Azzam (Palestine/USA), Souren Baronian (Armenian/USA), Matthias Bautz (Germany), Anello Capuano (Italy/France), Souhail Caspar (Egypt/USA), Utad Necati Çelik (Turkey), Saleshe Dameshe (Ethiopia), Reda Darvish (Egypt/USA), Hamdı Demirci (Turkey), Momo Djender (Algeria/Germany), Raimund Engelhardt (Germany/India), Polly Ferber (USA), Robyn Friend (USA), Daniel Fuchs (Germany), Iyad Haimour (Syria), Uğur Işık (Turkey), Halil Karaduman (Turkey), Abdelrhani Krija (Morocco), Elias and Georges Lammanm, (Lebanon/USA), Djamel Laroussi (Algeria/France), Nicole LeCorgne (USA), Premkumar Malik (India), Haig Mannookian (Armenian/USA), Scott Marcus (University of California, Santa Barbara), Nasser Mussa (Kuwait/USA), Peter Pannke (Germany), Ali Jihad Racy (University of California, Los Angeles), Gerhard Reiter (Austria), Pierre Rigopolis (France), Ahmed Kadrı Rizeleli (Turkey), Safinaz Rizeli (Turkey), Owe Rönstrom (Sweden), Farhan Sabagh (Syria), Sanatullah (Uzbekistan), Neil Siegel (USA), Louis Soret (France), Mimi Spencer (USA), Rowan Storm (USA/Greece), Salaheddin Takesh (Azerbajdzan/Iran), Shafiq Shamel (Afghanistan), Ergun Tamer, Joshkun Tamer (Turkey/USA), SiMohammed Qrizbri (Morocco), Dhafer Youssef (Tunesia), and others.
Among Helene's films, publications, articles, and CDs are
- Under Persian Skies: Dances of the Iranian World, (a film by Abbas Yousefpour, IWF)
- "Costume as a Mirror of Culture: Women's Costumes from Yugoslavia and Bulgaria," in 80 pp. in German with 20 maps and 60 photographs, Städtisches Museum, Göttingen, 1988.
- "Dances of Universal Peace: an Introduction to the Phenomenon," in Dance, Ritual and Music, Polish Society for Ethnochreology, Institute of Art, Polish Academy of Sciences, 1995.
- "Improvisation, an Intimate Account," in Proceedings of the 20th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology, İstanbul, 1998.
- "Strategies for the Performance of Iranian Dance in the Diaspora," in Procedings of the 21st Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology, Korčula 2000, Croatian Institute of Folklore and Ethnology, Zagreb, 2001
- "Who is Authentic in a Global World?," in "Authenticity: Whose Tradition?," European Folklore Institute, Budapest, 2002
- Kathak Lesson with Helene Eriksen, Shubhankar Banerjee -- Tabla, Tejendra Narazan Majumdar -- Sarod, CD for Kathak practice.
Helene teaches solo improvisional dance styles.