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Martenitsa moves to St. Paul!

It's back, and it's in St. Paul for the first time ever! From our press release:


Bulgarian Martenitsa Show Comes To Bedlam Lowertown March 1

Orkestar Bez Ime and Mila Vocal Ensemble Celebrate Their Annual Balkan Spring Celebration In a New, Dance-Friendly Space

Twin Cities, MN--It's been four years since Orkestar Bez Ime (OBI) and Mila Vocal Ensemble established Martenitsa, their annual celebration of spring--what Bulgarians call Baba Marta--and this year, it has a new home: Lowertown's beloved Bedlam Theatre. What started as a small underground gathering of Balkan music-obsessed fans and the local Bulgarian community has grown into a massive Balkan dance party featuring music from Bulgaria, Macedonia, and surrounding areas.

"We've done a few Martenitsas on and off for the last 10 years with various groups joining in," says OBI vocalist/percussionist and former Mila singer/artistic director Natalie Nowytski, "but it became an annual collaborative tradition with Mila and OBI starting in 2011. With the sheer number of dancers who have come to this event, we've outgrown all our previous spaces. I think it's safe to say folks will have a lot more room to move around now that Bedlam is hosting this year."

OBI and Mila's musical celebration of the coming of spring--traditionally referred to as the ancient Bulgarian holiday of Baba Marta (baba meaning "grandma," and Marta a derivative of the word for "March")--is highly anticipated every year, not only for the music and camaraderie, but also for the symbolic parallel many Minnesotans feel during a long winter: Traditional folklore depicts Baba Marta as a temperamental old woman whose moods are as changeable as March weather. On March 1st, it is customary to exchange and wear Martenitsi--tokens of good health, luck and vitality. Wearing the red and white yarns of the Martenitsa symbolizes the hope that Baba Marta will smile and grant us an early spring. As we Minnesotans know, the end of winter can never come soon enough.

What: Martenitsa Bulgarian spring celebration with music by Orkestar Bez Ime (OBI) and Mila Vocal Ensemble

When: Sunday, March 1, 2015, 2-5 p.m. (overlaps with happy hour)

Where: Bedlam Lowertown, 213 E 4th St., St. Paul, MN 55101

Tickets:$5 at the door or in advance (651-209-0597; http://bedlamtheatre.org/event/martenitsa-a-bulgarian-spring-celebration-with-music-by-orkestar-bez-ime-obi-and-mila-vocal-ensemble/)

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