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The Students from MU – Varna with Two First Places and Two Special Awards from the National Folklore Festival

The young medics from the Student Folklore Ensemble "Diana" at Medical University — Varna, with artistic director and choreographer Ms Diana Dimitrova, have won two first places and two special awards. The students took part at the 20th jubilee edition of the National Music Festival "Folklore Sunrise", which was held from 11th to 13th November at Grand Mall – Varna. Singers, dancers and musicians from all over the country competed for the awards of the jubilee edition of one of the major folklore festivals on the Black Sea coast for young performers and folklore lovers from folk troupes.

"Following an invitation from the organisers, we decided to participate at the National Music Festival "Folklore Sunrise", explained the head of the Folklore Ensemble at MU – Varna Ms Diana Dimitrova. Besides the Dance Ensemble, which is our traditional participant at the Festival, for the first time the students from the Folklore Dance School (Shkola za hora – BG) have taken part as well. Thus, the Medical University competed with two troupes. Both of them won the first place in their category over 19 years of age – for dance and for folklore dance troupes respectively. Our students also won two of the special awards – that of the organisers from Grand Mall – Varna, and of the artistic director of the Folklore Ensemble at the Academy of Music and Dance Art (AMDA) – Plovdiv, headed by Prof. Milcho Vasilev.

The Dance Ensemble won the first place with the performance of the dance "Rhythms from the Shopluk" (the Bulgarian Shopluk is a cultural region that is part of the greater Shopluk region in the eastern heights of Serbia and North Macedonia and the western mountains of Bulgaria). The Folklore Dance School performed two folklore dances – the first one is authentic, called "Pushilka" (BG). The music and arrangement are created by Dechko Ivanov. The second horo (folklore dance) is called "Ginka" from the Pirin Ethnographic Region. I am really delighted and proud of the fact that the Folklore Dance School has performed on the stage for the first time and won the first place", added Diana Dimitrova.

In terms of recruiting new participants in the folklore ensemble, the choreographer pointed out that the newly accepted students at MU – Varna found out information about the dance formations pretty quickly. "Everyone who is looking for us and joining us to dance is already familiar with the folklore dance art. Some of them, when enrolling for students, have already received preliminary information from the website of the University, while others learn about us after applying. Besides folklore dances, many of them have also danced Latin dances, modern ballet, hip-hop, which is a very intriguing challenge both for them and for the participants in our ensemble. After the award, I congratulated all participants, "Thanks to all those who have laid the foundations, and also thanks to all those who have been dancing today!" she said.

The 20th edition of "Folklore Sunrise" was traditionally held under the patronage of the Mayor of Mladost district in Varna Mr Christo Christov, and was implemented with the support of the National Culture Fund. Participants from various parts of the country –  Silistra, Ruse, Dobrich, Shumen, Targovishte, Burgas, Plovdiv, Sofia, Montana, Veliko Tarnovo, etc. competed during the three festival days. "Folklore Sunrise" is a well-established festival with competitive character for performers of different ages. The jury was chaired by Acad.  Milcho Vasilev – an artistic director of the Folklore Ensemble at the Academy of Music and Dance Art (AMDA) – Plovdiv.