5 mins with Balkanology – 12th June, 44 Stanley- Milpark

balkanology_emailer_jhb_2Up your crazy factor – dance to a brass band and fling your hard-earned cash at a miniature mongolian double humped camel at Balkanoloy next weekend the 12th of June at 44 Stanley.  Tempting? Just do it. What is Balkanology all about? We asked Ma’or, one of the organisers to break it down:
Balkanology has been running for four years. The events have grown from 600 people in the first to 2500 people in the seventh.  To date there have been seven parties in CT and two in JHB.
In short, Balkanology is a massive themed party. We choose our venues very carefully and put emphasis on decor and music. Music is mostly Balkan remixed. So traditional music that has a driving bass and full of electronic and modern touches making it more palatable to the western ear. Through the decor we try and create a gypsy village gone carnival, so, hay bales, wagon wheels, live stock (for real goats, chicken, sheep…) carnival lighting, food stalls etc. We also incorporate many actors. Often the punters don’t know that they are actors simply because most of the guests come in costume as well.

The actors however carry a story with them. For example, the one party was Balkanology The Great Balkan wedding where two fictitious characters Milovan & Biljana got married. The flyer to the party looked like an invite to a wedding. the whole marketing campaign was based on a real wedding, interviews on the radio claimed that it was real etc. On the night a real wedding took place with actors. A Russian orthodox style ceremony down to the T. After that we had ‘War & Peace’ with similar art instillations and actors being widows, soldiers, suicide bombers etc. Then came ‘The Gypsy Wake’ where the guests were welcomed at the entrance by the grieving family. Crying on your shoulder or simply shaking your hand thanking you for coming. Sad music played while the open coffin was on display. At around 22:30 the father of the deceased  gave a speech on what a special person Milovan was and how he would have loved us all to party for him and then the party kicks off. Then there was ‘The Resurrection’ then ‘Metamorphosis’ etc.

What nations make up the Balkans and what do they offer the world?
The nations that make up the Balkans are:
*  Albania
*  Bosnia and Herzegovina
*  Bulgaria
*  Croatia
*  Greece
*  Kosovo (partially recognized)
*  Macedonia
*  Montenegro
*  Serbia

Other countries sometimes included are:

*  Moldova
*  Romania
*  Slovenia
*  Turkey

They offer amazing music and a true glimpse into the human spirit,

How does Balkan culture compare to South African?
I wouldn’t know where to begin snswering this question. The truth is that what we celebrate is the Balkan music. We focus more on the gypsy village way of life. ie. superstition and the farm life.

It started in CT right, what brought it to Jozi?
High demand. The word travelled fast and we love making people party, the more people the better. Spreading the love.

What’s the highlight of this event?
The highlight of this event, other than the music, will be the different carnival elements that we are planning. Carny games run by corrupt carnies… Don’t’ want to ruin the surprise.

What kind of party person should not miss it?
I sincerely think that this party is for every one. We have people of all shapes and ages coming to this party. One of the reasons that Balkanology is so successful is because it appeals to everyone. Any person weather 21 or 61 years old of any background will walk into this party and start dancing uncontrollably. Guaranteed.

BALKANOLOGY 12th June 2010, 44 Stanley- Milpark, Johannesburg

Hopa! Balkanology is back!
This time we are toning things down a little with farm games, vodka irrigation systems, fanfares played by choirs of gypsy kids juggling squealing piglets, fortune tellers, cussing grandmothers and the good old blindfold marriage game!
Prepare your feet for the turbo dancing! Prepare your ears for the exultant listening and prepare your bellies for the super belly funk!   Hop hop hop the Romani Systema is stampeding back into Johannesburg! Let this circus of life brass you into a heavenly crescendo!

On raffle: Serduchka (miniature mongolian double humped camel). All profit goes to charity.

Them Particles
Hopa Banda

Doors open: 8pm
Tickets R120 presale and door


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