Georgi and Jordanka Iliev



Georgi Iliev


Georgi Iliev was born in Gabra in the Šop region of Bulgaria, into a family of musicians and dancers. He had done a lot to preserve traditional dancing in Bulgarian villages. Georgi began dancing in local ensembles in 1946 with which he won five first prizes at three national dance competitions. The Gabra Folkloren Ensemble, which he founded, won many gold medals at the Koprivštica National Festival, as far back as 1967. He also directed the amateur dance ensemble Prosveta.

Georgi, both earthy and energetic, was a tremendous hit at all his appearances in the United States. Georgi also taught at the Eastern European Folklore Center summer camps in the United States and at the MIT Folk Dance Club. Several of his dances have made their way to the U.S.

Jordanka Ilieva was born in the village of Borika, Sofia region, and grew up singing and dancing with her family. She went to Sofia at a young age to sing with the Šopski Ensemble. Jordanka received six gold medals for her solo performances at Koprivštica and received wide acclaim for her recordings.

Georgi and Jordanka, returned to Gabra and founded the Gabra Folkloren Ensemble which performed at the Koprivštica Folk Festival, throughout Europe, and for the former president of Bulgaria.

Georgi and Jordanka have a son, Petur Iliev, who is a teacher in his own right.

Dances Georgi and Yordana taught include Graovsko and Lili Lili.