People Behind Balkanitza

Nachum Shachar

Nachum Shachar (1928 – 2002) was a pioneer in introducing International folk dance in Israel. He was a professional dance choreographer and a teacher of various modern dance styles, including Afro-Cuban, Jazz, and Tap dancing. Nachum held a special warm corner in his heart for the International Folk Dance group which he established and led in Haifa.
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Avinoam Nir

Avinoam (Avi) Nir founded the Haifa Balkan Dance Group in 1984 with the generous help of Nachum Shachar.

He fell in love with the Balkan rhythms and music after he saw Tanec perform in Haifa in 1952.

Avi learned the first dances from Jim Gold and at the Balkan Folk Art Center in NYC with Marty Koenig, Michael Ginsburg and others. He participated in several workshops and festivals in Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Romania.

Today Avi is joined by young and energetic members, Aviella Angel and Moshe Idan in leading and operating the group.

In the past, during Avi's Sabbatical leaves, the group was led by Yehuda Ben Harush, and by local dancers from the Haifa Balkan Dance Group, Aviella Angel, Moshe Idan and Natan Shetach.