About Dina Koleva

Dina Koleva is the director of Folk Ensemble ‘Bistritsa’, founded in 1949 in the village if Bistritsa, near Sofia, Bulgaria. 

The ensemble comprises singers, dancers and musicians. They are unique with performing of ancient singing tradition through which the core group form the legendary Bistritsa Grannies (Bistritsa Babi). The inheritors of the Grannies, their Granddaughters, master the difficult vocal technique of close- harmonized antiphonal singing in a natural manner by listening and performing together with the elderly ladies. The orchestra consist of traditional instruments: bagpipe, rebeck, six string pandora, wooden flute and accordion. An interesting fact discovered by musicologists studying the Bistritsa dances is that the steps do not mirror the music: they are independent and are in harmony with the music at a deeper level – as a pulse rather than as a fixed rhythm.