Helene Eriksen is a dance ethnologist and international touring artist with a career spanning 30 years. Helene studied Dance Ethnology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and was later a doctoral candidate in Folklore, Slavistics and Turcology at the Georg-August University in Gottingen, Germany. In Los Angeles she performed with AVAZ International Dance Theater, Gypsy Dance Company and Jasna Planina Ensemble. After a year at the Folkdance Academy in Plovdiv, Bulgaria she was a guest of the Turkish State Folkdance Ensemble in Ankara. She directed her own ensemble Raqs-e Hilal for several years in Germany and is now the artistic director of a new ensemble in Seattle, WA, USA: Helene Eriksen's Traditional Dance Theatre
Helene is a teacher and choreographer of traditional dances of the Balkans and Islamic Orient. She lectures and publishes on dance ethnology and costume studies. In order to do this she was conducted many research projects in Bulgaria, ex-Yugoslavia, Hungary, Romania, Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Egypt, the ex-USSR, Tunisia and Morocco as well as with immigrants in Germany, Canada and the USA. She speaks several Languages. She is an active member of the Study Group on Ethnochoreology (ICTM/UNESCO). For many years she has been leading dance and culture study tours. As a dancer she is in demand internationally with performances in Germany, Austria, England, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, France, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Turkey, Russia, Canada, Norway, the USA, Algeria, Slovenija and Pakistan. This is her first international tour with her new dance ensemble in Seattle. The repertoire of the ensemble at the moment includes dances from North Africa, Central Europe, the Caucases, Iran and Central Asia. The current program includes a Berber dance of the Ouled Nail tribe of Algeria, a dance of the Roma (Gypsy) minority of Hungary, classical Court dances from 19th Century Iran and women's folkdances from Saudi Arabia, the Bandari Region of Iran, Armenia and Uzbekistan.