Folklore Ensemble “Rodopa” Smolyan was established in 1960, as to collect, preserve and popularize the unique vocal-instrumental folklore of Rhodope Mountain.
The three strongly bound formations – folk choir, orchestra and dancing formation provide specific styled art, full of colours, diversity of voices and mastered rhythm.
Leading in the ensemble’s artistic special line is the lyric Middle-Rhodopean song – either barely touched or with disordered polyphonic layers, but always correctly interpreted.
The swinging songs and beautiful melodies, the wavy Rhodopean chain dances, the different Bulgarian folklore regions (Strandzha, Tran and Dobrudzha, Pirin and Donau – mutually enriching themselves) build up the professional appearance of Folklore Ensemble „Rodopa”.
The undoubtedly rich folklore art of performance of ensemble „Rodopa” is well known not only in Bulgaria, but also around the world – Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France, Russia, North Korea, Greece, China, Italy and many others.
Since its establishment, Ensemble „Rodopa” has had more than 6000 concerts and over the years obtains even larger popularity and recognition.
Undeniable is the contribution of FE „Rodopa” for the preservation of the folklore heritage of the Orpheus’
Mountain. Tradition and continuity, tradition and modern times are perfectly combined and interwined in a torrent of shades, sounds and rhythm.
With its performances in front of numerous audiences, the ensemble has contributed to the promotion of the Rhodopean song and dance. It has an exceptional contribution to the enrichment of the Bulgarian cultural life. For its achievements, FE „Rodopa” is honoured with plenty of awards, medals and orders, among which are: order „ Cyril and Methodius ” – I-st class, the Gold Lyre, the Crystal Lyre and the Silver Necklace of the Union of the Musicians and Dancers.
A great proud for FE „Rodopa” is the „cosmic voice” Valia Balkanska, whose artistic way is tightly related with the ensemble.

„The Rhodopean songs are Bulgaria’s world glory!” – Acad. Mihail Arnaudov
„We are astonished at your art. The Korean people will remember your concerts a long time!” - Zen Sun Yon / North Korea
„An outstanding ensemble from Bulgaria - „Rodopa”! Phenomenal scenery! Although short, these moments will remain forever in our memories!” - Mikis Picalidis / Scenario-producer, Greece