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Next Festival

 

Friday, Saturday & Sunday 8, 9 & 10 May 2020

 

Below  you can see details of some of our regular dance groups and Ceilidh bands

 

Some of the Festival Regulars and UK Dance Teams who have attended in the past.

Al Rakas (Bollywood)

Al Rakas are a local Bellydance and Bollywood dance troupe meeting in Cwmbran on a Thursday evening. Originally dancing to Turkizh pop, they have dabbled in and included into their repertoire, different genres including American Tribal style, Flamenco Arabe, English Folk and Middle Eastern Folkloric to create dances that are a joy to perform and hopefully are interesting and enjoyable for their audiences.

They have been together for 10 years, and are proud to have 2 new dancers joining them this year who are picking up the dances with enthusiasm and energy! If you fancy joining a brilliant group of ladies to dance and perform, please speak to any of us or look for Al Rakas on Facebook or YouTube.

Blackwood school Celtic band

The Blackwood Celtic Band was formed in 2001 following a donation of instruments via the BBC’s ‘Instrument Amnesty’ scheme (which aimed to redistribute unwanted instruments to worthy causes). Having acquired two mandolins and a banjo, the then Head of Music, Hilary Brown, and Guitar Peripatetic Teacher Mike Collins, began to form a fledgling band around this consisting of around twelve interested pupils playing tin whistle, guitar, bodhran drum, mandolin, cello and double bass. This inaugural group performed at St. David’s Hall (Level 3 stage) in December 2001 and proved to be a popular addition to the musical life of the school.

 

Spurred on by this success, all pupils in Year 8 were taught to play the tin whistle and encouraged to join the Band. The commitment and enthusiasm demonstrated by the team to rehearsals and local gigs led to the possibility of going abroad – the first time for a music group from the school. Thus, in October 2003, the Celtic Band joined forces with the County Youth Orchestra and County Wind Ensemble and enjoyed a very successful tour to Ludwigsburg, Germany.

 

Since 2003, the school continues to give all pupils a grounding in folk music in their classroom music lessons and the Celtic Band is now into its sixth incarnation! We have continued to tour, most recently to Barcelona and the Czech Republic, and have enjoyed performing in such diverse arenas as the Welsh Assembly buildings (both old and new), main stage at St. David’s Hall, the Wales Millennium Centre foyer stage, in the Ty Cerdd tent at the National Eisteddfod and at the Newport Folk Club fundraiser in December for the Folk Festival. The Band has been supported by Communities First funding for instruments and has participated in local events in return e.g. the Grand Finale Concert at St. David’s Church, Rhymney (in support of the church restoration programme) and the St. David’s Day celebrations at The College, Ystrad Mynach.

 

At a time when many children find little to do with their leisure hours, the pupils are to be admired for their dedication in giving up a significant amount of their own time for rehearsals and gigs. Thanks must also go to our enthusiastic and hard-working peripatetic team who help to prepare pupils on fiddle, harp, bass and guitar. Together, we make a great team!

CARDIFF  MORRIS (Cardiff)

Picture by Alun Roach

 

 

The Cardiff Morris are one of the earliest 1970s revival sides. Formed in early 1970 by a small enthusiastic group made up of experienced dancers who had migrated from Morris sides in other parts of the country and local recruits with a feeling for folk dance and song, they have been dancing the Morris in South Wales for over forty years.

 

Their dances are generally derived from the Cotswold traditions, although you may see them perform their own tradition of dance from the village of Nantgarw, just north of Cardiff. This tradition is distinguished by the fact that it is an eight-person dance rather than the Cotswold style with six dancers. The local connection is reinforced by the Welsh dragon and Cardiff Coat of Arms on their Welsh-weave "baldricks", or cross-sashes, and they are often accompanied by Idris, their own dancing dragon.

 

In summer they can be seen in Cardiff and around South Wales at festivals and fetes, or touring various localities in the County of Glamorgan on Tuesday evenings.

CLOCS CANTON (Cardiff)

Clocs Canton dance North West style morris dancing, wearing clogs and using garlands & wavers.  They have been dancing in and around Cardiff since 1986.  They are distinctive in the Welsh colours of red, white and green, and unusual in kit with stripy trousers which always makes them stand out from the crowd.   New dancers and musicians are always welcome. They meet in Canton on Thursdays.

COBBLER'S AWL

Cobblers Awl are based in Cardiff and perform clog steps from both Wales and England. They have tried to keep both the Welsh and English clog-step traditions alive for the past forty years, since the group was first formed in Cwmbrân.

 

Their repertoire includes English steps with routines from Lancashire, Lakeland and the North-east of England, and over the past decade they have developed Welsh stepping, embedding traditional elements within a contemporary polyrhythmic framework. They wear wooden-soled leather clogs, all handmade by one or other of the few craftsmen still creating such traditional footwear.

 

They practice at The Community Space at Tesco (Gabalfa) on Western Avenue in Cardiff on Monday nights, and if you are interested, please contact them.

Cwmni Gwerin Pontypŵl

Cwmni Gwerin Pont-y-Pŵl is a Welsh folk dance team aiming to keep alive the culture and tradition of Welsh music and dance. They dance at displays and festivals, not only in Wales and the rest of the United Kingdom but also in Europe, where they have links with other traditional dance groups.

 

They are a small friendly group and are always looking for new members, both musicians and dancers, experienced and inexperienced. They have great fun whilst maintaining the Welsh folk tradition.

 

They meet in New Panteg Rugby Club, New Road, New Inn NP4 0PZ every Tuesday at 8.15 pm. Why not come and join them, or come along one evening to see what it is all about?

Dawnswyr Blaenafon

Dawnswyr Blaenafon is a group of people who like to learn and maintain traditional Welsh dance and dances from other traditions, and have fun at the same time.

We meet at the iconic Blaenavon Workmen's Hall  on Thursday evenings 7.15 pm to 9 pm.

New members are welcome at any time and no experience is necessary, we will guide you through.

We also organise the highly successful Dawns ar y Mynydd / Dance on the Mountain dance festival. This is held in July each year in Blaenavon. The Festival includes demonstrations of dance of all styles.

 

Dawnswyr Gwerin Penyfai

Dawnswyr Pen y Fai is a team with a world-wide reputation.

Each dance in their repertoire has its place and tradition in Wales. The style is varied and exciting to watch and alternates from energetic fair dances and lively social dances to elegant court dances.

The dancers wear the traditional Welsh costume made from Welsh flannel. On formal occasions the women wear the distinctive tall black hats, unique to Wales.

Dawnswyr Gwerin Penyfai has performed at numerous festivals in the UK and Europe, and is a member of the Welsh National Folk Dance Society. The team is in great demand to entertain audiences and hold social dance evenings throughout Wales and beyond.

The dancers are accompanied by a band of skilled folk musicians.

Dr Turberville's Morris

Dr Turberville’s Morris is a mixed Morris "side" or team originally from Crewkerne in Somerset, UK, we can now be found at Somerton also in Somerset. We "do" Morris dancing (of which more later); mostly Cotswold Morris and some Border Morris. We take our name from the most famous son of Crewkerne, the celebrated oculist Dr. D'Aubigny Turberville.

We dance English Cotswold Morris dances from the villages or "traditions" of Wayford, Hinton-in-the-Hedges, Ilmington, Bampton and Wells. You can find out more about these specific traditions, including where they come from and how they differ.

We also dance some Border Morris dances, including some from Dartmoor, Shropshire and a few other areas, in a sort of "Cotswold" style.

During the Summer months we can be seen dancing most Tuesday evenings somewhere in South Somerset and North and West Dorset, sometimes even Devon, often at friendly local pubs, and we are liable to appear at events such as fêtes and fairs, where we can be recognised by our costume of white, with green and maroon baldrics and ribbons. We can also be seen at Folk Festivals and Morris gatherings elsewhere in the UK and (very occasionally!) even further afield.

During the Winter months we practise our existing dances, learn new dances, and teach new members at our base at Somerton in Somerset.

Flamenco Dancers

Flamenco is an Andalusian term which refers both to a musical style, known for its intricate rapid passages, and a dance genre characterised by its audible footwork. Sit back and enjoy this Flamenco performance from a team which has appeared regularly at the Festival.

GWERINWYR GWENT

 

 

Gwerinwyr Gwent was formed in 1976 by eight people from the Gwent area who were interested in reviving the tradition of Welsh folk dancing. The name of the team can be translated as "folk-people of Gwent".

 

They perform dances which vary from slow, courtly dances to the faster fair dances and also include clog dances. Since their formation, members of the team have taken part in several eisteddfods and also in festivals, both in Wales and overseas. As a result of this they have hosted many foreign teams on their visits to Wales. Our recent trips abroad took us to Denmark in 2009, and Finland at the beginning of July 2010. They were also invited to Latvia, and some of the team went there to perform at the Lubana festival in 2011.

 

They dance just for pleasure, although they take part in festivals and demonstrations both in Wales and Europe. This year they will again be performing at the Tredegar House Folk Festival and some of them will be hosting dancers from overseas. This leads to invitations to dance in their countries.  Gwerinwyr Gwent are well known for organising twmpaths and Noson Lawen evenings; the charges for these depends on the time involved and the distances travelled.

 

They are always seeking new members, and either beginners or experienced dancers are very welcome. Practice night is Thursday 8-10pm at the Graig Community Hall, Bassaleg, NP10 8LG opposite the Ruperra Arms. Just come along, or ring 01495 271953 for more details. Dancing is fun; it's exercise but you don't have to be superfit to do it - give it a try!

Hevva (Cornwall)

Hevva was formed by an enthusiastic group of like-minded dancers and musicians who wanted to pool their extensive experience to promote, teach and display the traditional dances of Cornwall, one of the Celtic nations. The group has grown considerably from its beginnings and is now one of the foremost dance groups in Cornwall, recognisable by its distinctive traditional costume.

Hevva performs extensively at home, and has also been privileged to represent Cornwall at festivals large and small further afield, from Europe to the Caribbean.  They bring with them their own band of musicians.
 

India Dance Wales

Founded in 1993 India Dance Wales are the pioneers of Indian Dance in Wales. The aim of their work is to maintain authenticity while exploring contemporary ideas. India dance Wales are based in Cardiff. They have performed several times at the festival and we would like to give them a very warm welcome back.

ISCA MORRIS

Isca Morris were formed in 1976 by three experienced dancers taking their name from the Roman Fortress of the Second Augustan Legion which once stood on the site of the town of Caerleon in the old county of Gwent in South East Wales, UK.  They wear the national colours of Wales (red, white and green) and the kit includes a red sash on which is mounted a Roman helmet badge.


Their dancing season usually extends from May 1st (when they dance at dawn in the Roman Amphitheatre at Caerleon) to about mid-September, every Wednesday evening, at a variety of real ale pubs across Newport, Torfaen and Monmouthshire.  They can also be seen on some weekends during the summer in various parts of this country and abroad.

Isca Morris have danced at many different types of event, ranging from Barn Dances and Folk Clubs to Fetes and larger Folk Festivals and have appeared on television and radio on several occasions.

JAWAHIR MIDDLE EASTERN DANCE GROUP

Jawahir have been proud to support and take part in the Tredegar House Folk Festival for nearly 15 Years. You will find us dancing on both the Saturday and Sunday.

 

We are a group of like minded women who meet every week in Newport to enjoy and share dancing, music, a chat and have fun. Some of our members have been dancing together for over 10 years.

 

As a Middle Eastern dance group we try to combine traditional folk with modern essences from around the world. When watching us you may hear and see influences from Spain, Egypt, Turkey, North Africa, Armenia, Algeria and Israel to name a few. We choreograph and source most of our own dances, music, props and vibrant costumes .  Often adapting and making them to suit our style.

 

We run weekly classes at Duffryn Community Hall, Newport on Sundays 6-7 which is suitable for all ages and ability - come and have a chat with one of us or ask for our contact details and find out more.

 

We are available for Fetes, Festivals and Special Occasions

Knights of King Ina Morris

The Knights of King Ina are a Morris dance team specialising in the Solo and Duet dances known as Jigs in the Morris genre. The dances are drawn from many of the morris traditions and include dances choreographed by us using the styles and steps collected in the early 20th century. These dances were typically seen as competition or show off dances and only danced by those considered to be the best dancers in a team or side.

Mahadivi Bollywood Dancers

Mansant

The Lloyd Family – parents Geraint and Sara, and their children (fiddler and harper Mared, viola player and guitarist Carwyn and the youngest, little Tanwen, who is dwarfed by her double-bass)  show striking originality in their sparkling arrangements. Sara even puts down her accordion to take up and play her Welsh bagpipe, which thoroughly delights the audience.

 

As well as their musical talents, the children also exhibit their skills at Welsh clog dancing, taught to them by their father, Geraint, also an expert clogger.

 

Maya Fusion Dance

Maya Fusion Dance are a group of dancers from Blaenavon and blackwood. They are run by Laura Brosnan-James.

They are a Fusion Belly Dance group who use lots of different influences to keep each dance fresh and different, always with a fundamental basis in belly dance.

They hope to bring fun and passion to the festival, and show you some exciting dances!

mini Gŵyl Plant

In 1981 Gwerinwyr Gwent started a festival of Welsh Folk Dance for children called Gwyl Plant Gwent. The numbers have grown since then, and now four festivals are held locally at Abergavenny, Abertillery, Cwmbran and Newport. A mini Gŵyl Plant was introduced in Tredegar House Folk Festival in 2014, encouraging the younger generation to value and enjoy the culture and folk scene of Wales.

Schools performing  this year are:
TY-SIGN PRIMARY SCHOOL, RISCA and RHIW SYR DAFYDD PRIMARY SCHOOL, OAKDALE

Ragged Old Morris

Ragged and Old Morris is a mixed side performing newly created dances in the Cotswold style. The side has been established for 30 years and is based around the five valleys of Stroud in Gloucestershire. In addition to Morris dancing we perform Step Clog, and Mumming plays at Christmas.

 

We practice most weeks at the village hall in Bussage during the Winter and in Summer at local pubs often with other sides. We average around 35 bookings a year at festivals, countryside events, village fetes and parties.

Our regular practice night is Wednesday and new members, dancers and musicians are always welcome whether beginners or experienced.

 

SHOOSTRING

Shoostring are a dynamic and energetic dance group who are sure to amaze you with their synchronised and unique approach to Appalachian dancing. The side choreograph all their own dances, bringing to life the toe tapping rhythms of American Bluegrass music performed by the fantastic Shoostring Band.  Shoostring have performed at many events and folk festivals, including Newport's own Tredegar House, Wadebridge, Chippenham and Pontardawe. They have also toured County Cork in Southern Ireland.

Sweyn's Ey Morris

The Men of Sweyn's Ey take their name from the Viking name for Swansea,  and  are based in   Swansea, or to be precise in Morriston, most appropriate for a  morris side. The side was founded in 1966, and celebrated their fiftieth birthday last year. Initially dancing just the rapper sword dance, the side now dances mainly Cotswold morris, but also some Border morris as well as the rapper sword dance.

 

At Christmas, they keep alive the local mummer's plays,   collecting for charity.  They believe that they are Wales's longest running morris side, the only male dancing side remaining in Wales, and include Wales's oldest active  morris dancer.   They have a website: www.sweynsey.co.uk

Tiger Feet

Tiger Feet are the Appalachian dance side from Cardiff.  They have been dancing together for 20 years and say that they remember Tiger Bay, even if no-one else does! 

 

They dance mainly to traditional tunes but also love more modern ones and are most grateful to Bellowhead and other groups for their inspiring music."

Topaz Tribal (Belly Dancers)

Topaz Tribal is a Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance® troupe from Abergavenny, South Wales. Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance® is an eclectic style of bellydance, which draws its influence & inspiration from many cultures around the world, including Indian, Spanish, African etc.  The roots are firmly planted in the Middle East,  using historical & traditional bellydance moves to create combinations which pay tribute to & acknowledge the past history of bellydance. The dance, which is mostly improvised, has a modern bohemian style of it's own with a free & spirited gypsy-like feel, is powerful yet elegant, graceful & feminine. It's inclusive.  Your age, size or fitness level is not important, but YOU are. Tribal bellydance will help to improve your stamina, core stability, balance & flexibilty, plus the benefits of helping to develop confidence, self-esteem, inner strength, & an all-round 'feel good' factor. Research shows that dancing is now recognised by the health professionals as one of the best physical exercises for everyone. So come & join in & find out for yourself.

 

Topaz Tribal love to dance to spread the joy, the power & the passion of this dance, to have fun, to laugh, to share & just enjoy the moment of dancing with your sisters.

 

Topaz Tribal is led by Wendy Hughes, a Principal Teacher and Certified Level 5 Instructor with Gypsy Caravan & a member of the UK Caravan Project. To book us for your event or find out more about Topaz Tribal & Gypsy Caravan visit the website, send us an e-mail, find us on facebook as Topaz Tribal Bellydance or ring 07530099265

Two Step Clog

Jean Smith and Ian Craigs have been clog dancing for many years together, initially as members of larger groups. Since 2007, they have focused on developing their own repertoire of duets and solo dances bringing together traditional steps from a variety of sources as well as creating their own contemporary pieces. Their dancing has taken them all over the world, from New York to St Petersburg, Rattvik, Sibiu, London and now Amble.

Jean and Ian are both experienced clog dance teachers as well as performers and they regularly run workshops for absolute beginners through to advanced stepping. They have taught individually and jointly at events such as Whitby and Sidmouth Folk Festivals and various dance weekends dedicated to the teaching of clog dancing.

The black and white costume features the traditional Northumbrian tartan or shepherds plaid. The clogs are leather shoes with a wooden sole and the dances are primarily English with a focus on those from the North East of England.

Mike Greenwood will be their musician for the weekend.

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Ceilidhs

Calennig Big Band

with caller Pat Smith

Specialising in Welsh dance music, Calennig are equally at home playing for experts and novices alike. The band is led by concertina and spoons player Pat Smith who is acknowledged as one of Britain’s most entertaining callers and she has taught Welsh dances and called twmpaths from Auckland to Aberdeen, from Chicago to Christchurch. She is accompanied by a pool of regular musicians Mike Kennedy (bass), Iolo Jones (fiddle), Peter Davies (whistles, recorders, oboe, bagpipes and Bombard) and Rob Morris (guitar and Accordeon), and Ned Clamp (guitar, mandola, harmonica).

Juice

with caller Dave Parsons

Juice is one of South Wales' longest running and most popular ceilidh bands. Originally known as 'Juice of Barley', it was founded back in the mid 1970s, by Jenny and Gill KilBride. They were later joined by sons: Bernard, Daniel and Gerard who, having absorbed the tradition, continued the band in their own right as 'Juice'. Many incarnations later, the band is still as vibrant and dynamic as ever.

 

The band's caller has been the legendary Dave Parsons for more years than he would care to remember!

   
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