Oktoberfest 2018 staff


Tineke and Maurits van Geel

Tineke van Geel: Tineke has been active as an international folk dance teacher since 1975 and has visited Armenia regularly since 1985. She has done extensive field research in the dance and music of Armenia and received an award from its government for being “Ambassador of the Armenian dance and culture.”

In Armenia, there is a strong distinction between the teachers and groups that do traditional dances (azgakragan) and the groups that abstract folk dances for stage purposes. As a non-Armenian, Tineke is the only dance teacher who has gained access to both camps. She has been regularly interviewed on Armenian television and is frequently recognized on the street as “the Dutch lady who speaks Armenian and dances our dances.”

Since 1989, Tineke has produced recordings of Armenian music by Armenian musicians under her own label, Van Geel Records. Thus she has an excellent source of dance music, much of which has otherwise never been recorded. She has taught throughout Europe and in the US, Canada, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan. She is known as an outstanding instructor, spirited and cheerful, and it is easy to feel her deep commitment to the Armenian people and culture in the background information that she offers in her classes. Recent hits from her repertoire include Adana, Nazeli Bar, and Yar Ko Parag.

Maurits van Geel: Maurits has been active since 1975 as a dance teacher and choreographer. He enjoys teaching international folk dance as well as Appalachian clogging. From 1989 to 2011, he was the Artistic Director of Het Internationaal Danstheater in Amsterdam, where he was responsible for the annual dance productions of this professional group and has a legacy of 47 different theater productions.

Dance research was an important part of Maurits’ work because the programs of Het Internationaal Danstheater presented dances from different parts of the world, based on this field research. As a result, he visited the Balkans various times and became acquainted with the rich culture and dances of the region. Popular dances from his FAC Pinewoods 2013 classes include Cine Are Noroc Are, Komt Vrienden in het Ronde, Syrtos Kitrinou, and Tó Milo.


The Pinewoods Band, directed by Tom Pixton: Legendary for versatility, endurance, and wit, The Pinewoods Band has played at festivals throughout the US and Canada since 1991 under the masterful leadership of Tom Pixton. Tom, Barbara Pixton, Patrick Yacono, Ralph Iverson, Brian Wilson, Julia Poirier, and David Skidmore provide their outstanding repertoire of international folk dance music for our evening parties.