Komenka was established in 1979 as a New Orleans, Loisiana, USA non-profit arts organization with the purpose of portraying international folk cultures through dance and music. The forty-plus member ensemble includes professional and semi-professional artists from throughout the New Orleans community. Training with internationally recognized choreographers and musicians is highly stressed and reflected in program repertoire. Costumes are replicas or carefully designed adaptations of authenticated regional folk dress. The ensemble has been featured throughout the United States, and has performed on many television/radio stations. Komenka is also very active in educational institutions of all levels. Komenka has often performed internationally since 1988 in areas such as Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, the Caribbean, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Russia. Presented were such U.S. styles as Cajun, Appalachian, and New Orleans Jazz / Mardi Gras traditions. Komenka was the recipient of the first ever Big Easy Classical Arts Award for Best Ethnic Dance Presentation in 1993, and has received that prestigious award on numerous occasions since that time. Komenka was the recipient of the prestigious Community Arts Award bestowed by the Arts Council of New Orleans in recognition of outstanding contribution to the arts of New Orleans for 30 years. Financial support for Komenka comes from performances, private donations, and public/corporate grants. Komenka is greatly indebted to Loyola University New Orleans, the New Orleans Dance Academy, and the New Orleans School of Ballet for their generous provision of rehearsal facilities during the 2019-2020 performance season.
FREE Komenka Dance Classes
Free biweekly Komenka ethnic dance classes are available to anyone interested. Prior dance training and experience for participants is helpful but not required. This class precedes regularly scheduled Komenka performance member rehearsals.
The fun and energetic class lasts between 75 and 90 minutes. It begins with a character barre; is followed by a 30 minute nonstop cardio session which includes about 10 different international dance styles from around the world; and concludes with 3 or 4 choreographed group folk dance selections.
These FREE public classes are:
Wednesday evenings at 7PM in Loyola Dance Studio within the Music and Communications Building at the corner of St. Charles Ave. and Calhoun St.
Saturday afternoons at 3 PM at the New Orleans Dance Academy at 5956 Magazine Street (near corner of State St.)
Dancers should wear dance/exercise clothing as well as dance footwear.
At this time due to COVID requirements in the City of New Orleans, participants must also have proof of vaccination or recent negative test; and masks are required throughout the class.
For more information, contact John Rodi:
A financial gift to Komenka helps to bring the world of international dance arts into the lives of young children, teens, adults, and seniors through high quality creative experiences. Gifts to the Komenka Ethnic Dance Ensemble (a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization as determined by the IRS) are 100 percent tax deductible.
“Ensemble Member Level”
Donations of $1 to $499.
“Principal Member Level”
Donations of $500 to $2,499.
“Director Member Level”
Donations of $2,500 or more.
Check out this great photo video from Komenka's recent performance in the San Antonio Folk Dance Festival in mid-March 2019.