To me, meeting Eastern Europeans in Boston is like being thousands of kilometers away from home and seeing my neighbors.

Check out Collage Dance Ensemble's official website for the 2010 show schedule

Although the cultures and peoples of the Balkans are very different, there is also a lot that brings us together when we are far from home. The love for music and fun, the passionate nature, and the respect for our traditions and origin are only some of our collective characteristics.

Collage holds auditions in late-August to early-September in Boston

This summer, I made a new Turkish friend. I was the delighted to learn from him that Boston is already familiar with Eastern European folk dance and music. He is part of Collage Dance Ensemble.

Under director and choreographer Ahmet Lüleci, Collage Dance Ensemble (official website) has been promoting Eastern European rhythms since the late 1980s.

Their mission is to bridge disparate nations, cultures, and religions through the unifying power of dance.

Collage uses traditional folk and modern music and original choreography

The company is a true patchwork of traditional and contemporary dance technique and music from all over the world: the performers are from Turkey, Mexico, the States, Bulgaria, and Ukraine; they are Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, and Orthodox; they perform Egyptian, Israeli, Ukrainian, Uzbek, Roma dances, and this is only part of their story.

Can’t wait to see some of their shows in the fall, and maybe join some of their dance lessons.