Promoting American understanding of Russian folklore and traditional Russian life and culture.
Old Style New Year
with Moldova's Masked Performers
Old Calendar New Year Folk Theater in Moldova
Assist Dr. Svetlana Sorokina and Dr. Yelena Minyonok as they study and document the masquerading, play-acting, singing, dancing performers who usher in the New Year in rural Moldova. The quirks of Old Calendar/New Calender timekeeping allow you to greet 2019 twice -- on January 1st at home and on January 14th in Moldova!
The Moldovan "Malanca" (Old Calendar New Year celebration) traditionally involves troupes of performers going house-to-house to perform ancient magical dances and folk plays. Actors may be costumed as soldiers, kings, brides or other stock characters. Dancers may be costumed as animals, particularly bears and goats. The performances are traditionally believed to bring good luck in the new year. Both the dances and the plays have roots going back for centuries.
The first days of the expedition you will interview villagers about the form and meaning of Malanca over the years. Our team will also shadow the groups of performers as they rehearse and perfect their costumes, and of course document the performances on January 14th.
Many villages support more than one team of performers, making it a challenge to record all of the New Year action. If you can shoot a video, take a picture, hold a microphone, ask questions, help wrangle equipment and be a good audience, you're welcome to join the expedition!
Dates: January 4-16, 2019 Apply by October 25, 2018 Location: Republic of Moldova, Ocnita district, Clocusna village Expedition languages: Russian, English, Moldovan, Romanian *Projected fee: $2300
* Expedition fees in uncertain times
We calculated our expedition fees in November 2017. We are monitoring the value of the US dollar against the Moldovan leu. Exchange rates are affected by national politics, international politics, the price of oil and a host of other factors. We are unable to predict them.
AFRF reserves the right to add a surcharge to our expedition fees should the value of the dollar drop drastically against the relevant foreign currency. On the other hand, if the foreign currency drops drastically compared to the dollar, we pledge to return any "windfall" to you after we have covered our costs (outlined here).
American Friends of Russian Folklore is a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation and a 501(c)(3) organization. Tax I.D. No. 26-0294873.