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         Learn to dance and sing in a Maramures vilage
with a famous local musician 

This one-week training course will introduce you to the traditional music and dance of Maramures. You will be trained by Ioan Pop, nicknamed Popicu, one of the best- known folk musicians in Romania.  He lives in Hoteni village, in the Mara valley.

 Popicu runs a traditional music group called Iza. He works with the best musicians and dancers, peasants and shepherds in Maramures. Iza is now famous in Romania, and every year it tours Europe and Israel. Iza champions the idea that folk music and dance are fundamental to human happiness, and everything they do is aimed at keeping these old traditions fresh and meaningful. At the same time, Popicu and his wife put a lot of effort into convincing their fellow Maramureseni to treasure their traditional beliefs. Both Popicu and his wife take part in all of Hoteni’s religious festivals; on Sunday mornings, in their pretty garden pavilion, they teach children how to sing, dance and shout the witty couplets which are an integral part of so many Romanian folk dances.  Their belief in the value of song and dance permeates every aspect of the Pops’ lives.  Committed to their careers, they are living proof that this kind of cultural enterprise can bring real social and economic benefits, helping to stem the flow of youngsters who feel the need to leave home and find work abroad.  

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