Traditional Ceilidh with Peace Works

[“TH1”] Friday 19:30, town hall
tickets – programme

Come along and enjoy dancing a range of traditional dances in lines, sets and circles to their polkas, jigs and reels, with a couple of additional Celtic tunes thrown in for good measure between dances.

“Peace Works” is a local Ceilidh band who has been playing together for many years for community events and to raise funds for charities dear to their hearts. They have gathered a large collection of tunes and dances, mostly from the Celtic tradition, including many of the Ceilidh favourites and a few lesser known gems.

Jim Ledwidge leads the band on piano accordion and your main caller will be Rosie Benton.

Ceilidh video from the 1st Dance Festival [may need some time to load]

North West Morris workshop with Persephone

[“TH2“] saturday 11am, town halltickets – programme

Our North West style of Morris dancing grew out of the processions common at holiday times in the north west mill towns in Victorian times. We dance in sets of 8 people, in 2 lines of 4 moving forwards and backwards and performing various “figures” or patterns interspersed with a chorus figure. There are two basic steps: a “single step”, similar to skipping, and a “rant” or polka type step. We hold sticks, mill bobbins or garlands. Our music is mainly traditional, played on accordions, melodeons, clarinet, whistle and drums.

In performance we wear clogs, with rubber on the soles rather than the traditional irons which many men’s teams wear. For the workshop, trainers or similar are ideal. Fairly loose fitting or stretchy trousers are best for easy leg movement.

Persephone first performed in 1978, dancing in the North West Style. Many of the dances originate from the following of the rushcarts, the annual event of bringing new rushes for the church floor, in a ceremonial procession. This processional style further developed once the streets of the industrial towns of the North became paved.

There is a long tradition of clog stepping in the north of England which needed a hard floor. With the paving of the streets, clog stepping quickly became inseparable from the processional Morris of the North West; their large bands made it possible for the music to be heard over the sound of the clogs. Women dancers have always been a part of this type of dance, and today women’s, men’s and mixed teams can be seen.

Persephone is easily recognisable by the dancers’ black kits with bright green and yellow sashes and ribbons, whilst the band wears black and striking top hats with green and yellow ribbons; the side all wear black clogs with bells. The exuberant style and standard of dancing is maintained by weekly practices throughout the year at Hunsworth Community Centre, near Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire.

Persephone dances a mixture of traditional and new dances written specially for the team, using bobbins, garlands, sticks and slings. The band comprises accordions, melodeons, clarinet, whistle, a large drum, and a snare drum.

Persephone can be seen at venues throughout the country, dancing at festivals, in processions, at weekends of dance and all manner of other events, summer and winter alike.

Persephone is always keen to welcome new female dancers and musicians (female or male), both new and experienced.

 www.persephonemorris.co.uk , Facebook: Persephone Women’s Morris team

Circle Dance Around The World with Sophia Hatch

[“TH4“] Saturday 4pm, town hall – tickets – programme

I came across Circle Dance at Findhorn Foundation over 30yrs ago when I was looking for healing and I was immediately hooked! I then trained there and started teaching, sowing many seeds of the dance in the North of England making Circe Dance my vocation and living. I teach regular local groups as well as days/weekends and weeks.

This session I will teach a variety of simple dances from around the world – both traditional and recent. Some will be lively and upbeat and others gentle or meditative. The music is equally eclectic / worldwide from Bob Marley to Bach! – So maybe we have a dance from the Shetland Isles / South Africa / Bolivia / Bulgaria / East European Gipsy / a meditational dance with music by Ravi Shankar with words that are a peace mantra. There are thousands of dances and moods! Some dances are very ancient and others recently choreographed.

The aim is about creating JOY, UNITY ,COMMUNITY, RAISING ENERGY and PEACE .

 

You DON’T need a partner and NO experience needed. Children are welcome but must come accompanied by an adult and be wanting to give it a go! Barefoot or flat soft shoes. Wear layers so you can peel off and on as you feel! Bring some water and an open mind and heart! Feel free to contact me if you have any queries;

www.sophiafreedancer.co.uk

Middle Eastern Dance with Anne Kingston

[“MC3“] Saturday 1:30pm, methodist church – tickets – programme

I have been dancing since the age of 3, ballet in those days (and asked to leave as I was too wild!)  To me dancing is an expression of individuality but can also be very much about the collective (as with folk/group/circle dances). 

With Middle Eastern dance, there is the opportunity to express the aspects of life that connect us to each other, to nature and ultimately to joy.  It offers direct response to how the music moves the individual, a mixture of spontaneity and discipline, an interplay of dark and light, sharp and soft, fast and slow.

My workshops and performances have a strong emphasis on pleasure – fun, laughter, enjoyment, learning, healing and mutual support and encouragement.  When we dance together we connect in an honest natural way, we realise the beauty that shines through all of us. We realise that we all breath the same air, share the same emotions and have a common destiny.

As well as teaching Middle Eastern dance throughout the UK for over 20 years Anne also organises trips to the Moroccan Sahara and other areas of Morocco, for dancers, musicians and anyone who wants an adventure. 

Find out more about Anne and her adventures at www.annekingston.com or find her on Facebook annekingston22.

Longsword Workshop with Ryburn Longsword and Sue Coe

[“TH7“] sunday 11am, townhall  – tickets – programme

Longsword dance is a Yorkshire-based form of traditional dance performed by five, six or eight dancers dancing together in a circle, making a number of movements in which the dancers go over or under the swords. The middle sections of the dances rely on linked rings of dancers working as a team. The dance normally ends with the production and display of a ‘lock’ where swords are intertwined in one of a variety of shapes. The session will aim to introduce the basic figures & shapes used in Longsword dances & show pupils & teachers how these can be adapted & new figures developed & how they fit together to invent a new dance. 

The workshop will include:

  • Basic figures in Longsword dances – hilt & point rings, baskets, locks etc
  • Add more figures – double unders, double overs, arches, etc

Extension work could include:

  • Adapting existing figures
  • Creating new figures
  • Fitting figures together to create a new dance
  • Giving the new dance a name
  • Preparing for a performance

Ryburn Longsword  dance is a Yorkshire-based form of traditional dance performed by five, six or eight dancers dancing together in a circle, making a number of movements in which the dancers go over or under one of the swords. The dance normally ends with the production and display of a ‘lock’ where swords are intertwined in one of a variety of v shapes.

Its origins remain obscure but it is known that many Yorkshire villages had their own dances which would often be performed as part of Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Ryburn Longsword is based in Ripponden and has been dancing together since 1994. Some of our dances are traditional and come from villages across Yorkshire; others have been created by members of the group.

We welcome dancers of all ages and abilities to our Wednesday evening practice which take place from 7.30pm to 9.00pm at 103 Oldham Rd, Ripponden. We are very lucky to be able to dance to traditional live music for our practices, which are very friendly and informal.  Our ultimate aim is to dance with precision and style to public audiences, so dancers and musicians are encouraged to attend practice regularly.

If you would like to try Longsword dancing, please contact Pauline Jones on 01422 823099. You can find out more about Ryburn Three Step events and activities on our website; www.ryburn3step.org.uk

Appalachian Beginners with Fiddle ‘n Feet

{“TH8“] sunday 1:30, townhall  – tickets – programme

Fiddle ‘n Feet are a mixed Appalachian dance team formed over 15 years ago. 
We currently have 10 dancers and 5 musicians and practice in Shipley, West Yorkshire.

We choreograph our own dances which are lively and energetic consisting of traditional Appalachian dance steps from the Appalachian mountains of America.  Our musicians play old-time and bluegrass fiddle tunes.

We perform at festivals, dance and charity events mainly in Yorkshire and Lancashire and sometimes further afield.

Anyone wishing to join our workshop will be required to wear hard soled shoes or tap shoes. No experience necessary.  Complete beginners welcome. 

Our workshop will consist of a performance of one of our dances.  We will teach simple Appalachian steps from this dance which hopefully at the end of the workshop we will all perform.  The musicians play old time and bluegrass fiddle tunes.

Our website is www.fiddlenfeet.co.uk

Les Panards Dansants, dancers & band (Breton and French Dancing)

[“TH10“] sunday22,  7:30pm-9:30pm,  town hall  – tickets – programme

Traditional French dancing takes many forms. Depending on the area they originate from, the dances can be performed in circles, lines, open circles or couples. But what they all have in common is they are very attractive, addictive and accompanied by fascinating and vibrant music.
Still very much alive in France, those dances can be seen performed on stage by the “groups folkloriques”, or danced at “bals folks”, where dancers of all ages and abilities can participate, dancing to live music.
In the workshop Geli, Monica and Toni will be teach simple dances from various French regions to live instrumental music from ‘Les Panards Dansants’ band or singing. No partner is necessary. Fun is guaranteed at the Bal – with our live band.

www.frenchdanceleeds.co.uk/Facebook: Les Panards Dansants

Tammurriata – Southern Italian with Filomena Ianni

Sunday 16:00, methodist church – book here
back to programme

A Traditional dance to the drum (this is the meaning of its name), which makes use of Italian castanets and a frame drum with jingles as the main accompanying instrument.

This is a dance of ancient origins, linked to the seasonal cycles of the land, now danced in coincidence with the Christian festivals, which fall within the same cycles and in many other community gatherings. It’s part of the many types of Tarantellas danced in the South. This particular form comes from the area of Napoli, which is where I am from.

Danced in a group of pairs between any age and gender, it’s fun, wild and beautiful.


Filomena Ianni is both a therapist and a community drum and dance facilitator. I love to bring this dance close to my roots and my heart to festivals and private gatherings alike, anytime!

Find more of my current and past community rhythm work on my FB page Core Beat Drumming & Dancing –  http://allthingsflow.co.uk/the-drum-circle-page/