About us

History

Grachanitsa’s roots date back to 1997.  Under the auspices of the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church of Boston and the leadership of Mr. Peter Petrov and Mrs. Mirjana Petrovic, local Serbs, Americans and Bulgarians gathered to learn the basics of the Serbian folk dancing and performed in the Boston area. The group chose the name Grachanitsa after a famous Serbian monastery in Kosovo, built on the remains of a 13th century church. The Grachanitsa monastery, a spiritual and cultural center of this part of Serbia for centuries, was classified as a UNESCO world heritage cultural site in 1993.

In the winter of 1999, Dr. Mirjana Kondic, a long-time Serbian folk dance enthusiast, was instrumental in re-organizing and bringing new artistic leadership to the Ensemble.  With the arrival of Dr. George (Djordje) Koldzic, a dancer with almost three decades of dance experience, and soloist in two highly regarded ensembles in Serbia (Branko Krsmanovic in Belgrade, and Abrasevic in Valjevo), the ensemble had its new beginning, emulating some of the highest quality folklore ensembles in Serbia.  A new generation of dancers from around the world was recruited, and future Assistant Artistic Directors Dragana Bogavac and Srdjan Nickovic were trained.  Soon, Grachanitsa became famous for its original choreographies, elaborate costumes, perfected style and attention to detail.

Since its beginnings, the Ensemble has performed over sixty times in some of the most famous venues throughout the US and Canada.  Over time, about 300 dancers have participated in Grachanitsa’s activities. Members of the group, along with generous support from its donors, have invested over $40,000 into various training and performing activities.  Most of that amount, however, went into purchasing unique and original hand-made costumes from Serbia.

Grachanitsa is proud of its long and productive collaboration with St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Boston.  Since its beginnings, the Ensemble’s destiny has been closely connected to that of the Church’s.  Grachanitsa rehearses at the Church Hall and performs at all major Church-organized events.  Artistic directors and dancers also teach and lead two children’s dance ensembles that have been an integral part of the St Sava Serbian Orthodox Church School Program.  In addition to learning the basics of the Serbian folk dance and tradition, children also spend quality time with their peers, and regularly perform at Church- and School-related programs.

Grachanitsa’s program currently includes thirteen choreographies of renowned Serbian choreographers Branko Markovic, Srboljub Ninkovic, Dragoslav Dzadzevic, Vladimir Spasojevic, Milan Bosiljcic-Beli, and Ratomir Djurovic.

This year, Grachanitsa is celebrating its 10th Anniversary and performing season under the new artistic leadership.  Multiple events and activities to mark the important occasion will culminate with the Gala Performance with famous guest-performers from Serbia and Canada in the fall of 2010. 

Practices

Grachanitsa’s practices take place on Tuesdays at the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA.

Children’s lessons are from 6 – 7pm, beginner’s lessons from 7 – 8pm, and Grachanitsa’s rehearsals from 8 – 10pm.

If you are interested in our rehearsals, feel free to stop by, or see the “Contact Us” page for our contact details.

Dancers:

Aleksandar Bukvic
Aleksandra Andjelkovic
Aleksandra Drljaca
Aleksandra Puric
Alen Arbutina
Alexander Jovanovic
Alice Tomic
Ana Koldzic
Andjela Suka
Anita Zilic
Ankica Pogorzelski
Biljana Arsic
Branko Bojovic
Darko Cotic
Dejan Stankovic
Djordje (George) N. Koldzic
Dobrin Draganov
Dragana Bogavac
Dunja Stankovic
Dusan Kozic
Eleonora Vidolova
Goran Deletic
Gordana Simic
Ivana Djuretic
Iveta Iontcheva
Jansen Savic
Jelena Djordjevic
Jelena Glisovic
Jelena Jovin
Jelena Mirkovic
Loraine Milosh
Marija Jankovich (Velickovic)
Marijana Bogavac
Marizela Savic
Marko Kocic
Mia Levi
Michele Stojanov
Mirela Zilic
Miroslav Arsic
Nada Jovanovic (Bankovic)
Negovan Nickovic
Nenad Pejic
Neso Beric
Nevena Vukosavljevic
Nikola Kojic
Pavlo Kononenko
Rebecca Woodward
Sandra Tanasijevic
Sanja Stojkovic (Petrovic)
Sinisa Baranac
Sladjana Baranac
Srdjan Nickovic
Stevan Arbutina
Suzana Stojakovic
Tamara Halkina
Tamara Maric
Tamara Pavasovic Trost
Tamara Sevaljevic
Tatiana Nouchev