IVFDF 2001: Workshop details

Here are the details of workshops for which we have information.

Appalachian Clog: Jenny Slade

This is a form of dance found in the southern states of North America, in an area from Northern Maine to Georgia, around the Appalachian Mountains. Originally the settlers went over taking their traditional English, Irish and Scottish stepping. This mixed with the rhythms of the African slaves, and the native American Indian dances. Out of this melting pot emerged a specific style of dance - American clogging. It is performed in tap shoes and is used as a percussive accompaniment to Old Tyme music (similar to Blue Grass). The dances can be performed as a series of free style solo steps - buck dancing or flat footing, or as part of a precision routine performed by a group of dancers, often incorporating Square dance movements. The dance form has now been imported back into England and is enjoying huge popularity.

This workshop aims to give you a feel for the style of the dance and a grounding in the basic steps. It is aimed at the absolute beginner and we will cover as much as possible in the short time allowed. The movements and percussive style of the dance mean that trainers are not suitable for practising in. The ideal shoes are flat leather soled shoes with taps on heels and toes. However, any form of hard soled shoes is OK. To see if your shoes are suitable, see if you can slide your foot along the floor without it sticking.

Jenny Slade has been Appalachian clogging since 1987 and was a founder member of the Sussex team Hi-Jinx.

Bharata Natyam (Classical Indian): Magdalen Gorringe

Magdalen Gorringe will perform a couple of dances from the South Indian dance tradition Bharata Natyam, followed by an opportunity for you to try out the rhythms and the drama of the dance style for yourselves. No experience necessary, all ages welcome. Come prepared to dance in bare feet! (Maximum 30 participants)

Welsh Folk Dance: Dennis Owen

Welsh folk dancing was almost wiped out in the 18th and 19th centuries, by Non-conformist groups. The deacons and preachers of the chapels did their utmost to stamp out all sorts of "sinful" folk entertainment such as dancing, folk singing, and folk music generally.

Fortunately some saw the great damage that was being done to the culture, and they and other collectors such as Bennett, Walsh, and Thompson, managed to record the dances on paper. Playford had been collecting and publishing Welsh dances such as Meillionen and Abergenni since the mid 17th century.

The Welsh Folk Dance Society was formed, in 1949 with the goal of promoting and resurrecting the old dances.

The workshop will give the dancers a taste of the style and music of Welsh dances from the 17th century to the present day.

Mediaeval Dance: Adam Hughes

Does modern folk dance have roots in older dances? The earliest dance choreographies come from the 1450's. After 1650, set dances dominate "British" folk. Between lie two centuries of weird and wonderful dances struggling for popularity. Tantalisingly familiar or totally alien, all were recorded because they were popular in their day.

Nymphs and Hunks: Hugh Stewart

Many years ago when Hugh was a young and handsome hunk he would go to IVFDF and dance with all those gorgeous nymphs. He was irritated to find that half of them couldn't dance properly, but their gorgeous charms compensated for that and he had a good time. As he grows old and crotchety he finds the waning charms compensate less and less. IVFDF should have a workshop on dance style in general, not dances in particular he said. Right, we said...

Cornish Dance: Peter Lane with Roger Swaine

This will be an introduction to Cornish dance, a lively Celtic style. The intention will be to introduce a range of social dances, including some of the movements not usual in English country dances. Some details of stepping may be worked on, but the main idea will be to give a feel for the tradition. The dances will all be taken from the "Troyl" books by Gans Merv and Alison Davey, with occasional modifications.

The workshop organiser is Peter Lane, who is Leader of the display group English Miscellany and has been performing and teaching folk dance of many styles for over 20 years. Music will be provided by the accordion of Roger Swaine, Music Director of English Miscellany and Leader of the Brookfield Band.

Bouncy Playford: Rachel Bearon with Saraband

A selection of lively English country dances collected by Playford for the bright young things of the 17th century. Some dances may require a teensy bit more brainwork than the average ceilidh dance, but they will all be explained by Rachel with the emphasis on fun. Music for the workshop will be provided by Saraband - a very experienced duo guaranteed to make your feet want to move.

Pat Shaw: Rachel Bearon with Saraband

Pat Shaw wrote many lovely English dance in the 20th century. This workshop will be the chance to try out a few of those where the movements flow seamlessly - giving you the chance to flirt outrageously!

Caribbean Quadrilles: Caroline Muraldo

This class will introduce participants to the basics of Jamaican Quadrilles as a representative of Quadrilles of the Caribbean, which developed from the Quadrilles of Europe. The teacher Caroline Muraldo has learned and performed versions of Quadrille with the renowned dance practitioner H Pattern and with Desmond Clarke who runs a Community Quadrille group at the Albany Centre, Lewisham London. Caroline has also undertaken research, as part of her degrees, into the history and characteristics of this unique dance tradition and will continue to do so at research level. Participants need to wear comfortable clothing and footwear.

Rapper: Hoddesdon Crownsmen Rapper Sword Dancers

A set of five rapper dancers form a circle linked by their swords, which have a flexible steel blade with a wooden handle at each end. The dancing is fast and fluid, as the dancers weave intricate patterns and end by locking the swords into the familiar five-pointed star.

Rapper sword dancing originated in the coal-mining communities of north-east England. Traditionally each village had its own dance, and the Hoddesdon Crownsmen perform the Beadnell dance as well as modern dances combining traditional and newer figures.

Dancing with Fools and Fooling with Dancers: Jan Grayson

A workshop for any dancers who would like to explore how a fool could add to the dance, or for any existing or embryonic fools who want to develop their ideas about their role. Jan Grayson a.k.a. "Big Willy" aided and abetted by members of Black Annis, will lead an hour and a bit of discussion and participation. The workshop is structured around learning a dance and doing foolish things with it, so no particular knowledge is assumed. However a willingness to have a go and work together is fairly crucial.

Write a Dance: Michael Catovsky

Michael Catovsky will be leading a workshop on writing new ceilidh dances, with the aim of coming up with one or two good new ones which can be used at public gigs (and hopefully being premiered at the festival itself.) After a brief introduction and tips about what kind of thing works, Michael will be giving each of the groups a tune, and asking them to come up with a dance to go with it. One member of each group will then have to call the dance to the music played by the resident musician (who will be working closely with all the groups.) The rest of the group will do the dance and assess it, and recommend improvements / alternations. The workshop will focus on achieving practical results, and considering the importance of basing your work around a specific piece of music, achieving flowing figures, overall unity of the dance, progressions, callability etc...

Any successful dances created will be posted on the Hemlock Music web site and maybe used in the Saturday night ceilidh, and by Michael himself at his gigs.

International Dance: Mike Gilbert

The human body contains an amazing number of moving parts and folk dancers from around the world have shown amazing ingenuity in devising ways to move most of them. They have managed to apply even more ingenuity to the ways the more conventional parts are moved. This workshop will introduce you to some of the easier (and less painful) varieties of movement found in traditional dances from Europe and around the world. So, if you want to try something a little different here is an opportunity to move the parts other workshops won't mention. No partners or previous experience needed.

Broom Dance: Tessa Goldsmith

The Broom Dance has often been associated with Molly dancing in the past, but, to our knowledge, either as a one-person dance or with every dancer having a broom. At Pig Dyke Molly we've developed the "two broom dance", finding a wealth of new possibilities previously untapped. In the workshop we'll explore the potential of these, and other ideas, as well as teaching a "get-you-started" simple dance. Everyone's welcome, brooms will help.

Beginners Cajun Dance: Pete Shaw

Foot tapping Cajun music, from the bayous and plains of Southwest Louisiana, USA, is becoming popular UK side. The Two Step and the Waltz, learned in 20 minutes, are sociable couple dances. You can even chat to your partner when dancing! The Cajun Jitterbug is the faster one with even simpler step but cool moves, where you hardly ever let go your partner's hands. We'll move partners round so come with one or alone. Pete Shaw has been playing and dancing cajun for 10 years.

Irish Set Dance: Elizabeth Dougherty

Danced in square sets of four couples, Irish set dancing is becoming increasingly popular in Ireland, Britain and further afield. Taught by Lizzie, who has not been Irish set dancing since she was knee-high to a grasshopper, accessibility and fun are the key to this workshop. It's aimed at beginners but everyone is welcome. Hard shoes if you've got them.

Beginners' Cotswold Morris: Phil Watson, Chris Hall and Steve Tunnicliff

An introduction to Cotswold Morris for non-Morris dancers. If you've never tried Cotswold before, this is the workshop for you.

Advanced Cotswold: Phil Watson

In the Fieldtown tradition, following on from the last IVFDF in Cambridge, Phil will teach the dancers dance, Old Woman Tossed up in a Blanket, which in its full extended version lasts over eight minutes. Phil is one of the famed Bunnies from Hell who specialise in this tradition.

Sound it Out! (Singing): Rowena Whitehead

Songs will be sung from a wide range of vocal traditions, including African, Eastern European, Gaelic, Gospel, chosen for their strong harmonies and rhythms which are exhilarating and energising to sing in a group. No previous singing experience is necessary - singers, only-in-the-bath singers and non-singers are all welcome.

Rowena Whitehead is a singer and voice teacher who runs Talking in Tune, the Cambridge based community music project. She is visiting lecturer in voice at Homerton College and has a passion for unaccompanied song.

Contra Dancing: Rhodri Davies

Get warmed up and in the groove for the contra ceilidh later in the day. Contra dancing grew out of the dances that the English, Irish, Scottish and others took with them when they settled in New England. Kept alive there over the centuries it has mutated into a modern vibrant style: a social dance with plenty of space for improvisation and personal expression. In general the Americans have not discovered ceilidh dancing: this is what they do instead. Rhod has been calling and dancing contras since his first IVFDF (he won't admit publicly how many he has been to, but is still short of Ray's record of 21). This will be about encouraging an enthusiastic approach to the dance.

Calling: Gordon Potts

This is a technical workshop, intended to enable a dancer to start calling. It will cover, among other things, what is meant by jigs, reels, hornpipes and other types of tune; how to make sense of printed dance instructions; and how to talk to bands. It will compliment Elevenses with Gordon.

Elevenses with Gordon: Gordon Potts

In the second of his calling workshops Gordon will cover general points of style, presentation, programming and the structure of a whole evening. Questions, comments, interjections and anecdotes will be welcome. Disaster stories will be particularly welcome.

Playing for Dancing: Thomas Bending

Using some of the tunes from the Scratch Band repertoire, Thomas will concentrate on the basics of playing for dancing. If you're new to playing for dancing this is the workshop for you, it will compliment the later Scratch Band practice. Music will be provided.

Scratch Band: Dave Holland

If you want to be part of the band that will be playing for the Survivors' Ceilidh this is your chance to practice the tunes that everyone will be dancing to. Dave, of the Round Band, will be running the practice and leading the band. If you're new to playing for dancing this is a great opportunity to have a go. Music will be provided.

Molly Dancing: Gog Magog Molly

Molly is the local dance form, Gog Magog the local side. Combining a tradition of rural discontent and ploughboy plundering with a very modern buzz, this is your opportunity to share that Fenland feeling. Loud, energetic and not for the fainthearted.

Kentucky Running Set: Hugh Stewart

This is a dance form from the Appalachian mountains. Despite its name it only involves running if the music is very fast, but it does tend to be continuous. If you think of Square Dance but less complicated and codified, or perhaps Irish Set Dance to American reels, you'll get a rough idea.

Beginners' Highland: Ian Brockbank

Mention Scotland, and most people think of tartan, whisky and the Highland Fling. This is your chance to learn this traditional dance in the company of IVFDF stalwart Ian Brockbank from Edinburgh. Bring soft shoes, limber ankles and plenty of energy - and you may get the chance to demonstrate what you've learned at the Survivors' Ceilidh. Tartan and whisky optional.

Beginners' Scottish: Andrew Kellett and James Gray

The perfect introduction to this energetic and social dance form; Andrew won't let the toe pointing get in the way of fun. Soft shoes if you've got them.

Intermediate Scottish: Caroline Brockbank

A workshop aimed at improvers, rather than the experts (though you're welcome too). This should give you a bit more confidence and enable you to get more out of the evening dance. Soft shoes and an ability to count to eight recommended.

North-West Morris: Jan Guyatt

Jan will be teaching a dance from Mobberley in Cheshire. This dance was taught to the Poynton Jemmers in 1976 by Mrs Mabel Daniel who trained many dancers in several troupes in the 1920's and 30's. There will be archival photos on display. Brief notes of the dance are available. Comfy clothes and lots of energy and enthusiasm are the only pre-requisites for enjoying this workshop!

Jan has taught and led several different North West Morris sides since first joining Jemmers in 1970s. She has run several workshops and also carried out historical research. She currently dances with English Miscellany and continues to call for all sorts of dances.

Historical: The Capriol Society

This is your chance to try the dances that were all the rage in Northern Europe in the early 16th century. The Capriol Dancers will guide you through pavans, galliards, almains and branles.

French Couple Dancing: Andrew Swaine

Learn to Waltz, Schottische and maybe even Mazurka. This workshop is suitable for beginners but Andrew will teach some variations for those of you who already know the basics.

Beginners' Clog: Lesley Thackeray with Ben Thackeray

The steps taught in this workshop will be tailored to the experience of the majority of participants. They may include some waltz steps from Durham which would be suited to absolute beginners.

If the class members have had a little experience they might prefer to learn a set of four Yorkshire steps collected from Gwen Naylor. She learnt them from her father who used to perform in the musichalls. These steps are danced to popular tunes such as Lily of Laguna or Narcissus.

The workshop will be lead by Lesley Thackeray who first learnt Clog Dancing whilst at Nottingham University and has been a member of Reading Cloggies for fifteen years. The musician will be Ben Thackeray playing the accordion.

Tango: Samm Wynne

It takes two, but you only need to bring yourself. Samm will take you through the basics of the Argentine Tango, the most sensual of dances.

Yodelling: Andrea Meier

What is there to say, come yodel (and if you've an instrument bring it with you to help learn the tune).

Workshops are being added to the this list as we receive information.

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Page last updated 21st February 2001
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