B a l k a n E x p r e s s
LINDA CREMIN was given a Roma and Traveller’s soul by birth, and a dancing soul into her cradle. Her mum is a Roma from Blagojevgrad, a town on the Macedonian-Bulgarian border and her dad is an Irish Traveller.
Linda herself was born in Sofia in Bulgaria. Due to her dad’s job, they moved around Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Gaza and Germany, where she picked up the traditional dance styles as they went along. Her uncle (her mum’s brother, from a Roma blacksmith tradition), who worked a knife-sharpener and antique trader, took her regularly back to the Balkans, where she danced in Restaurants from the age of 5, whilst her uncle collected money in his shoe.
Her stay in Egypt and Saudi Arabia inspired her to study belly dance. She also trained in a variety of other styles including contemporary and Street dance, Bulgarian and Irish folk dance; from Cid Chana, she learned Indian Katak dance and Bollywood. Nowadays, Linda works as dancer, specialised in Roma, Middle Eastern and Balkan styles, as jewellery designer and tutor for jewellery making at Greenwich College, and as Belly dance instructor in Tower Hamlets.
GUNDULA STOJANOVA GRUEN is a virtuoso violinist and singer who has travelled extensively, transcribing melodies that she learned first-hand from Romany and folk musicians. Described by Songlines Magazine as ‘a shining star in the UK’s Balkan music scene’, her unique performance style showcases a technical ability acquired through intensive conservatoire training as well a colourful and charismatic personality. Her arrangements and compositions,
whilst drawing influence from her love and extensive knowledge of Romany Gypsy music, are original and highly personal.
Gundula has just finished a Master degree course in Ethnomusicology at City University London. Her research focussed on Macedonian music. This project is based on her research results and music discoveries during the fieldwork for her special project (read the essay here) and the preparation for the Master Thesis. Read more...
TATCHO DROM: Inspired by the charisma of Esma Redžepova, the elegance of Vivaldi and the humour of Emir Kusturica, Tatcho Drom stage ‘A Gypsy consommé with a satanic pulse’ (Froots Magazine), a vibrant show of beautiful melodies and dancing rhythms from Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
Tatcho Drom, which translates to 'True Journey' are considered one of the UK’s leading exponents of Romany Gypsy music. Their broad repertoire includes traditional music from across Eastern Europe and the Balkans as well as band leader's Gundula’s own original compositions. To find out more make sure to check our their website.