By Dick Oakes
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THIS IS HISTORICAL INFORMATION ONLY
On June 7, 2014, Carol (Cox) Barns wrote, "Sobranie was a Macedonian folk dance group organized by and led by Michael Anthony and David Shochat in the summer of 1967. I was accepted into the group in August of that year.
We rehearsed in a school gymnasium at an elementary school in Hollywood. Possibly the Vine St. Elementary school. We rehearsed every Tuesday night. After rehearsal we often went to Arthur J’s restaurant on Santa Monica and Highland.
Our first performance was at the Dance Heritage International Folk Concert at the Wilshire Ebell Theater on January 27, 1968. At that show we performed Kopačka, Žensko Krsteno, and Postupano. Michael Anthony was listed at the group’s director. Dancers in that performance included: Kathy Arena, Michael and Carol Anthony, Mark Berger, Caroline Cox, Don Green, Elliott and Leslie Gould, Maurice Kamins, Harry and Cinda Pentecost, Terri Shaw, David and Cathy Shochat, and Micheal Tejada-Flores. (Source: the Concert Program.)
Other performances included the Ojai Festival, March 30 & 31, 1968; The Museum, December 14, 1968; and The Intersection, January 31, 1969.
Sobranie disbanded in 1969 because some of the key figures needed to focus on their graduate work. Both David Shochat and Mike Anthony were working on their Ph.D.'s at the time."
David Shochat recalls, "I remember starting that group (and I guess leaving Sredec to do it) in order to concentrate on Macedonian dances. When Cathy and I went to the Balkans in 1968, we went to an opinčar in the Skopje čaršija to get buy opinci for the entire troupe (Sobranie). The opinčar was so excited by this big sale he invited us to his home where we met his son, a musician. The son invited us to come to the radio/TV studio for a tour, and when we got there, there were some musicians playing. The son said something to the head of the group about how we were folk dancers from the United States, and they proceeded to play what we knew as Četvorka. This was identical to the rendition that we knew (that Atanas Kolarovski had taught from) and Pece Atanasovski, the leader of the group, knew we would recognize it. That is how we met Pece. He then invited Cathy and me to come and stay with him at his home, where he taught me Dračevka. I assume he learned it in Tanec, since he was not from Dračevo himself. After we returned, we taught this dance to Sobranie and we performed it."
Caroline's personal note: "I was in the 9th grade at the time. My school notebook had Sobranie written on it. When my english teacher, Mrs. Roshko, asked me about it, I told her about the group. She asked to see us perform and I told her about the Dance Heritage concert. She and her husband attended the event and she sent me flowers back stage!"
David Shochat says, "Sobranie (so-BRAH-ni-eh) comes from the word 'sobere', which means to gather, collect, convene, etc. The parliament of the Republic of Macedonia is called the 'sobranie'. It seemed like an appropriate name for a group since we were a kind of gathering together of people with a common interest in Macedonian folklore."
The photos below were provided by Caroline (Cox) Barns.
Members of the troupe were: