Gergana is a singer, performer and choreographer and has done much to spread an awareness of Bulgarian music, dance and culture, in Europe, Asia, and North and South America. Gergana practices, promotes, and teaches dance therapy. She makes the world a better place through dance.
The still pictures (some shown at the bottom of this page) fail to capture Gergana. You really need to dance with her to experience the love and joy she projects.
Gergana has taught at many events in the US, including: Stockton Folk Dance Camp, Mainewoods Dance Camp, Lyrids Folk Dance Festival, and the Laguna Festival.
Here is what Stockton Folk Dance Camp has to say about her:
Gergana Panova was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, and graduated from the National High School for Dance in Sofia, the Academy for Music and Dance Pedagogy in Plovdiv, the Folkwang University of Arts in Essen and the Technical University of Dortmund. She received her D.Sc. in cultural philosophy and communicative sciences with special awards in Germany and a Habilitation in ethnomusicology from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS).
From 1988 to 1994 she choreographed and was a solo dancer with the National Ensemble of Bulgaria “Philip Koutev”, while also working with children and youth doing stage performances and establishing dance therapy for children in Sofia. She also co-founded the Theater Department of the New Bulgarian University and still works with the Theatre Total in Bochum, Germany.
Gergana devoted herself to the research of folk dance traditions, and for 23 years, she directed the Dance Archive and the Ethnochoreology Department at the Institute for Art Studies at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) in Sofia. Currently she is professor for International Dances at the Folkwang University of Arts in Essen, Germany and still a member of the BAS.
Gergana has published over 70 articles and two books on various aspects of Bulgarian traditional dance, ethnology and non-verbal communication and has lectured at numerous universities in Europe, Asia, South and North America. She has initiated theatre and dance therapy projects in different European countries, leads dance courses for refugees and locals in Germany and has taught over 300 Bulgarian and international folk dance workshops in many countries around the world.
Gergana is trained as a folk dance pedagogue, stage performer and director, contemporary dance choreographer, ethnologist, Laban notator, cultural anthropologist, philosopher and expert of intercultural communication.
Her special interests are the chances and challenges of the contemporary multicultural societies, and these were the main topics of her Fulbright research and teaching project on dance at the UCLA in 2016.
Since April 2022 she works in the strategic overhead of the new State Programm for Management of Communal Integration in Oberhausen, Germany.
She visited Stockton Folk Dance Camp in 2016 during her Fulbright project with UCLA and was a faculty member in 2019 and in 2021 (the winter edition).