Gypsy Folk Ensemble - The Road to Estonia 2009
Estonia is a small country in the Baltics with a rich tradition of song and dance. Gypsy became acquainted with their dances when we were joined by a former member of "Kuljus", a folk dance group in Tallinn, Estonia, who began performing with us in 1993. The Estonian community in the United States and Canada hold a festival every two years called West Coast Estonian Days, and in 1999, the event was held in Los Angeles. Members of the Gypsy Folk Ensemble performed a set of Estonian dances at the festival and also played host to "Kuljus" which had traveled to Los Angeles from Estonia for the event.
Gypsy at West Coast Estonian Days 1999
Members of Gypsy and "Kuljus"
Gypsy performing an Estonian dance 1999
Two years later, in 2001, the West Coast Estonian Days event was held in San Francisco, California in late June and early July. Gypsy traveled north to the Bay Area and once again performed a group of Estonian dances at the festival.
2007 West Coast Estonian Days
Gypsy at the 2001 West Coast Estonian
Days in San Francisco
In 2007, West Coast Estonian Days returned to Los Angeles and Gypsy made its third appearance at the festival and was able to again host the dancers from the "Kuljus" group which also performed at the festival.
The final step on the Road to Estonia was taken when, with the help of "Kuljus", Gypsy was invited to perform at the Estonian Song and Dance Festival held in Tallinn in the Summer of 2009. The festival, which takes place every five years, began with a six mile long parade through the streets of Tallinn and culminated with performances by 34,000 singers and dancers for an audience of 200,000.
Gypsy on Parade in Tallinn 2009
At an Outdoor Cafe in Tallinn
Scenes from the 2009 Dance Festival (Tantsupidu in Estonian) held in Tallinn