Romanian Folk Dance Ensemble
Balada was formed in 1973, under the auspices of the St. Constantine and Helena Church of Edmonton (Alberta, Canada) and in 1977 became an independent society. Since their formation, the ensemble has developed a comprehensive repertoire of Romanian folk dance suites.
The company presents dances from many regions of Romania including Dobrogea, Oltenia, Muntenia, Transylvania (e.g., Oas, Somes, Sibiu, Banat, and Cluj), Moldova (e.g., Iași, Bucovina) and from Moldavia.
Balada is proud of the way in which it combines authenticity and audience appeal in its dance suites. This is due to the talents of the many instructors and choreographers. From 1977 until 1979, Petru Ilica taught the group, and since 1984, Ann Smreciu has been the Artistic Director. The group has worked (in Canada and Romania) with many prominent Romanian Maestrae including Petre Bodeuţ, Viorel Vatamaniuc, Mihai Vasile, Gheorghe Vaduva, Ion Gubernicu and Theodor Vasilescu.
Balada has had a wide variety of performing experiences. They have performed extensively within Alberta at festivals, multicultural celebrations, benefits for various charities, and for numerous television events. The ensemble has been featured at folk festivals across western Canada and has performed for Romanian audiences in the United States. Balada has completed four successful performance tours of Romania (1978, 1981, 1986 and 1992) where they delighted and amazed audiences with the authenticity of the dances. The group has also competed against some of the world’s best folk dance ensembles at overseas competitions. They have danced at the Silifke Folk and Music Festival in southern Turkey (1981), the Helios Folk Festival in Greece (1988) and the Mondial Folk Festival in Costinesti, Romania.
Balada performs from 15 to 50 times each year and has a well-earned reputation as a colourful, exuberant folk dance ensemble.