Elika Folk Dance Ensemble was formed in 2001 by graduates of the Plovdiv Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts.
Initially three groups of performers were formed-a choir, an orchestra and a dance formation , who begin to build individual as well as a general program. The musical aspect of the repertoire is almost exclusively represented by distinguished Bulgarian composers like K. Kiurkchiyski, S. Dragostinov, A. Valchev, C. Cvetkov, G. Andreev etc. whose rich creative experience together with the youthful gust of the choreographers present the Bulgarian folklore heritage as a symbiosis between traditions, present and future.
The choreographers’ new ideas and decisions concerning composition, choreographic text, illumination, special effects and costumes create the conditions for the creation of a quality, aesthetically sound production.
Three months after its creation, the ensemble makes its first audio and video recordings as well as commercial products, gaining wider popularity among the general public. At the same time it makes successful steps on the big stage.
On May 17th 2002 it wins 1st place in The National Contest "Atanas Atanasov" in Stara Zagora. Two months later it makes its debut in an International Folklore Festival abroad. Between the 16th and the 21st of June 2002 it performs on the stages of The Danube Folklore Festival in the cities of Baia, Koljocha and Seksard Hungary.
As time goes by and the creative experience of the ensemble increases new ideas come to light. It begins widening its repertoire aligned with the new tendencies in modern music and dance art. Towards the already existing works from all folklore regions of the country, were added a number of foreign acts-modern folklore, latino, jazz and a modern day mixture of them. This becomes the main reason for creating new opportunities for the ensemble. It quickly finds its future partners and supporters in the faces of the firms "Gotmar" and "Nova Trade" with whose cooperation it takes part in a number of performances during the International Plovdiv Fair, as well as national ad tour with the products of "Nova Trade", which includes 34 concerts in almost all major cities in the country.
Elika Dance Formation has gained a reputation for the great artistic excellence of its performances and collaborative work. The Formation performs and works together with well-known Bulgarian artists and singers such as Kristina Dimitrova, Tedi Katsarova, Orlin Goranov, Veselin Marinov, “Band of the Year” winner “D2”, best rock singer Toma, and a number of sensational pop-folk performers - Sofi Marinova, Kamelia, Desislava, Boban Zdravkovich, Gloria, Esil Duran, etc. а truly memorable artistic experience is the Elika Dance Formation in collaboration with one of the best-known Bulgarian actors, comedians and TV presenters Todor Kolev and one of Bulgaria`s favorite TV personalities Dragomir Draganov.
The larger and partially renewed during this period folklore repertoire allows the ensemble the successful passage through the different stages of the National Review 2002-2004, it airs a number of performances on the national and regional TV broadcasts and its work becomes constant presence in the cultural pages of the press. The ensemble is invited and takes part in a project to create an ad CD about Bulgaria, shoots a number of video clips with distinguished Bulgarian orchestras and performers, as well as an individual dance video. Gradually "Elika" becomes an important part of Bulgarian culture. It performs in a wide range of settings-from a private party to an International Folklore Festival.
In 2003-2004 "Elika" takes part in a number of international forums in Serbia, Turkey, and Greece, including the international festivals in Antalya, Turkey, Kavala and Joanina, Greece.
Charity is also an important part of the ensemble’s activity. One out of many charitable events "Elika" participated in is the concert it organized together with "The Round Table Club", Plovdiv for the children of the orphanage in the town of Bracigovo, in which more than a 150 distinguished performers both from Plovdiv and the region took part. The ensemble is a major participant in the annual charity balls fund raising for future scholarship grants. It also takes part in the charity concerts organized to help the victims of flooding in the summer of 2005.
All that is accompanied by a number of rewards and prizes, the more prestigious of which are: The reward of "Ivan Spassov" foundation and the Dean of The Academy of Music and Dance Art, Plovdiv for excellence in the field of performing arts. It was awarded to the ensemble’s choreographer along with the recognition of "Elika" being a "Distinguished ensemble" of CIOFF (International Council of Organizations for Folklore Festivals and Folk Art), Bulgaria, after a successful performance in the National Review in 2002-2004 and 2004-2006 and has twice won the first prize from the National Dance Competition.
In 2003 the team of choreographers and music educationists working in ensemble "Elika" launched Art School "Elika" and moved towards working with young children. Currently there are 4 age groups of dancers. Children are being taught note singing, folk singing, traditional musical instruments, piano and accordion. In addition "Elika" expanded beyond the boundaries of Plovdiv and opened schools in Parvomay, Sadovo and Cheshnigirovo.
That brought up the number of performers in the ensemble and widened their age boundary. The commitments became larger with a higher level of responsibility. A peak was the preparation for the concert "Folk Stage Bulgaria", the final round of the contest "Star Moment 2004" and the three international festivals in which "Elika" performed that summer.
During the "Folk Stage Bulgaria" festival which took place in Hall 1 of The National Palace of Culture "Elika" performed a newly created composition and placed alongside the big names FTT Naiden Kirov", "Kapanski Ensemble", "Nevrokopski Ensemble", "Varna Ensemble" and others.
The wider spectrum of activities and larger repertoire in addition to the increasing number of commitments transformed the ensemble into a professional formation, which turned out to be the only adequate decision, in light of the increased work load as well as the need for higher technical abilities of the performers. This was practically realized as of August 2005. Formation began work in its own base, which already has all the conditions necessary for the work of a professional ensemble.
Many concerts in the country and abroad come next. In 2006, the group produced their own theatrical dance show developed with five scenes and two theatrical sceneries, multimedia, many special effects and illumination, in which the living legend of the Bulgarian cinema and theater, Todor Kolev, also took part. The show succeeded in winning the hearts of many spectators in Bulgaria for a short period of time and was also successfully presented in Greece and Turkey.
The Elika Chamber Dance Groups have obtained a great experience performing at wedding parties , cocktails, anniversaries, birthday parties, seminars, exhibitions, inaugural events, concerts, TV shows & corporate events. They have performed in major hotels, different types of restaurants, clubs, gardens and other alluring places. The formation offers a vast dance repertoire including dances that best suit the clients` requirements.
Their choice of programs is perfectly in tune with the specificity of each event.
The team of choreographers mainly works with children. The children’s school to the ensemble creates dancers at the age of 5 to 16 years endowed with excellent performing qualities, who find good chances for realization in the children’s group and later on in the Representative Folklore Ensemble and the professional dance formation.
In 2010 the ensemble throw open the door to more socially oriented activities, in which with no age limit amateur dancers find what is missing in their normal everyday life. Better tone of mind, new social contacts and emotional experiences, the opportunity to tear yourself away from the monotonous daily grind and meet the rich Bulgarian cultural heritage, these are just parts of the factors which motivate the participants in the groups.
The Representative Folklore Ensemble, the children’s dance group and the professional dance formation of Elika represent exceptionally authoritative participants in a number of international forums and events. The groups perform excellently in many festivals mainly in Hungary, Serbia, Turkey, Greece, Belgium, and events like the opening of the second largest shopping center in the world “Grande Caviar Shopping Center” in Istanbul, Turkey, presentation of Bulgaria on an international tourism exhibition in Ukraine, the participation in international marketing events of the companies Baumit and Peek & Kloppenburg in Austria and Germany, wedding parties and town festivals in Greece and Turkey, participation in the 650 anniversary of the traditional historical wrestling in Edirne, Turkey, participated in the popular show on bats,” The Magnificent Six "and many others. The challenge to discover the unique, the aspiration for the different, and the search for the new continues. Elika presents to its audience again and again new fantastic performances and unforgettable emotions. Do not miss the chance to take delight in them.