Academic Folklore Ensemble (AFA) was created in 1957 as a part of the Students’ Home of Culture in Sofia city and is considered one of the oldest dance ensembles in Bulgaria.
Commencing its existence thanks to a group of enthusiastic students, today the Ensemble has people from different age groups dancing in it. Brought together by our love for the national folk dance art, all members of the Ensemble dedicate their free time to mastering traditional Bulgarian dance, music and customs. AFA’s many achievements are due to our love and willingness to protect and popularize the authentic folk dance.
The repertoire of the Ensemble includes dozens of productions performed over the years by more than 50 boys and girls each time. In our dance program are presented rhythms from all ethnographic folklore regions of Bulgaria that won the applause of the audience at many stage performances, both home and abroad. During its half-century history, AFA has numerous appearances in the country and in foreign parts. Our dances are greeted with admiration and applause in the UK, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Israel, Egypt, India, Malta, Tunisia, Poland, South Korea, Turkey, Finland, Germany, Mexico, Cuba, Canada, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland, etc.
At present we continue to represent the native folk rhythms on different local and international festivals, guided by the belief that if effort, love and talent go hand in hand, the greatest treasure of the Bulgarian culture will continue to delight audiences worldwide.
Academic Folk Ensemble is a laureate and prize-winner of numerous awards in national and international festivals and competitions in Helsinki, Berlin, Sofia, Agridzhendo, Zakopane, Istanbul and others. In 2017, AFA celebrated its sixty anniversary since its creation. This puts us historically among one of the oldest dance groups established in the country, and still reviving Bulgarian folklore and dance in Bulgaria and upholding the spirit of the Bulgarians.
Founder, and to this day, artistic director and choreographer of the Academic Folk Ensemble at the Students’ Home of Culture is Ivan Todorov. His assistants over the years have been many pedagogues, including Valentine Rusetski, Dimitar Manov, Zivko Petrov, Maya Todorova, Iveta Cankova, Annie Arahangelova. Today, assistant director and choreographer is Zdravko Dimitrov.