helene eriksen portraitAbout Helene

Helene is a teacher and choreographer of traditional dances of the Balkans and Islamic Orient. She lectures and publishes on dance ethnology and costume studies. In order to do this she has conducted many research projects in Bulgaria, ex-Yugoslavia, Hungary, Romania, Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Egypt, the ex-USSR, Tunisia and Morocco as well as with immigrants in Germany, Canada and the USA. She speaks several Languages. She is an active member of the Study Group on Ethnochoreology (ICTM/UNESCO). For many years she has been leading dance and culture study tours and now she is the director of her own travel agency Window on the World Voyages.

Helene studied Dance Ethnology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and was later a doctoral candidate in Folklore, Slavistics and Turcology at the Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany. In Los Angeles she performed with AVAZ International Dance Theater, Gypsy Dance Company and Jasna Planina Ensemble. After a year at the Folkdance Academy in Plovdiv, Bulgaria she was a guest of the Turkish State Folkdance Ensemble in Ankara. She directed her own ensemble Raqs-e Hilal for several years in Germany and is currently directing her new project, Helene Eriksen's Traditional Dance Theater, in Seattle.

As a dancer she is in demand internationally with performances in Germany, Austria, England, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, France, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Turkey, Russia, Canada, Norway, the USA, Pakistan, Algeria, Slovenia, and Mexico.

She especially enjoys working in projects with musicians: with MOUSSEM: A Celebration of North African Music and Dance (Germany/France), with TAQSIM (Germany/France), Orientexpressen (Sweden), Ziryab (Austria), Ssassa (Switzerland), The Shibli Band (Germany), Salaam Moroccan Band (USA), Shourangeez Iraninan music and Dance Ensemble (USA), Ahlam Arabic Orchestra (USA), Georges Lammam Ensemble (USA)

as well as with:

Sallah Ali Al-Qaisy (Iraq/USA), Mohammed Askari (Egypt/Germany), Bruno Aßenmacher (Germany), Ziya Aytekin (Turkey-Sweden), Nabil Azzam (Palestine/USA), Souren Baronian (Armenian/USA), Matthias Bautz (Germany), Anello Capuano (Italy/France), Ustad Necati Çelik (Turkey), Saleshe Damessae (Ethiopia), Reda Darwish (Egypt/USA), Hamdı Demirci (Turkey), Momo Djender (Algeria/Germany), Raimund Engelhardt (Germany/India), Polly Ferber (USA), Robyn Friend (USA), Daniel Fuchs (Germany), Spartaki Gurgenishvili (Georgia), Valeri Gurgenishvili (Georgia), Iyad Haimour (Syria/France), Uğur Işık (Turkey), Kamand (USA), Halil Karaduman (Turkey), Souhail Kaspar (Lebanon/USA), Abdelrhani Krija (Morocco/Germany), Elias Lammam (Lebanon/USA), Georges Lammam, (Lebanon/USA), Djamel Laroussi (Algeria/France), Nicole LeCorgne (USA), Premkumar Malik (India), Haig Manoukian (Armenian/USA), Scott Marcus (University of California, Santa Barbara), Naser Musa (USA), Pangeo (USA), Peter Pannke (Germany), Ali Jihad Racy (University of California, Los Angeles), Gerhard Reiter (Austria), Pierre Rigopolis (France), Ahmet Kadrı Rizeleli (Turkey), Safinaz Rizeli (Turkey), Owe Rönstrom (Sweden), Sue Rudnicki (USA), Farhan Sabbagh (Syria), Sanatullah (Uzbekistan), Neil Siegel (USA), Louis Soret (France), Mimi Spencer (USA), Rowan Storm (USA/Greece), Salaheddin Takesh (Azerbajdzan/Iran), Shafiq Shamel (Afghanistan), Ergun Tamer, Joshkun Tamer (Turkey/USA), SiMohammed Qrizbri (Morocco), Dhafer Youssef (Tunesia) and others.