Wow! Do enough dancers come to Sidmouth to support that much dance?
Sidmouth Folk Dance 2017
Firstly, the Big Mornings carry on. Long, intensive, workshops in English
Dance led by returnee Michael Barraclough, supported by Purcell's
Polyphonic Party who were highly praised last time. The other English band
is Mrs Savage's Whim, a new string quartet focused on playing for dance.
The American stream is led by USA caller, Bob Isaacs, who is coming to
England for the first time. His dances have been a regular part of many
English callers' cards for some years. The bands are the young four piece,
Contra Alt Delete, and a new band, The Linda Game Band, fiddle with string
bass and guitar, plus young multi instrumentalist, Matt Quinn on melodeons.
The afternoons are interesting and varied. After the success of Early Dance
last time, we have extended the workshops to include more music sessions.
Andy Richards and his team will lead you through the dance.Terry Mann, with
help from Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer, will do strange things with unusual
instruments. We are doing more Irish sessions as well, including some Sean
Nos workshops led by Emma Dyson, and Irish Set dance with Val Knight, music
provided by Chris Dyson and Paddy Hefron from Yorkshire based band, Roisin
A special this year, celebrating 100 year anniversary of Pat Shaw's birth,
is a series of workshops looking at his work. John Sweeney will take a
fresh look, supported by Ali Messer and Jane Harrison who both have a
wealth of experience of Pat Shaw style. We have invited Emma Wooders back
to continue her popular English afternoon workshops, and Ivan Aitken will
be challenging you with his American squares and contras.
The beginners workshop is led by Rhianwen Davies, supported by another
astonishing melodeon player, Sam Mabbett. They will cover all the basic
styles during the week, and assume no prior knowledge.
The evenings are fun. A series of mixed social dance with local callers
Simon Maplesden and Jane Thomas, with bands Momentum and The Andrew Purkiss
Band. We will have a Playford Ball, a Pat Shaw Ball, an Irish Set Night,
American, and English events, around the town and in Stowford Rise. Bands
and callers from the daytime sessions. A special night midweek will be a
Gender Free Calling Dance, to which everyone is welcome. The final dance
of the festival will be English Contra Dance Band, with caller, Jake Wood.
Emily L. Ferguson
New England landscapes, wooden boats and races