The 29th Annual
Friday, Saturday & Sunday 11th,
12th & 13th
We had a fabulous line-up for the 2017 Festival.
We will bring you the details for 2018 as soon as they are confirmed.
Click on the links below to take you to
the section you want.
Below are the International teams who
performed in the 2017 festival.
Visiting International Teams
Matenik - Czech Dancers
Matenik is not only a dance, but is also the
name of the Prague folklore group which was founded in 1991 by leader and
choreographer Peter Tužilová. The group follows the tradition of classical
folk dance. Matenik works with different folk musicians, and is able to
perform a wide range of folk dances from the Czech Republic, from Moravia
to Slovakia. Since the group was established, they have organised a range
of concerts, regularly participate in festivals at home and abroad,
organise charitable and ceremonial appearances and co-organise an annual
folk festival. Matenik currently has eight pairs of dancers and continues
to add new members.
Balaton - Hungarian Dancers
The London based Hungarian folk dance group
Balaton, named after the lake in Hungary, was founded by Alan McLean in
1968. Amongst various other jobs he had for a period been a professional
dancer and through this became very interested in Eastern European dances,
Hungarian in particular. Years later in the 1980s he started up the Doina
Eastern European group, and in the 90s, he helped organise the first
meeting of the Martisorul Romanian group (that now no longer functions).
Alan was always very enthusiastic, he promoted the group in terms of
arranging performances and he spent a lot of time going to Hungary to
collect music, costume and learn dances, often asking amateur groups to
show him the choreographies they had performed so that Balaton could use
them. One highlight from this earlier period were when the group danced
for the TV show ‘The Generation Game’.
In Hungary from the 1970s there was a re-discovery of Transylvanian dances
from the Hungarian minorities in Romania, as well as a move to seeking
greater authenticity in dance so that what you put on stage was based on
the actual figures from the villages, and done in the right style. Before
this some of our arrangements had been more packaged like musical
productions. When a few of the group started to go on courses from the
late 80s this is where we encountered this improvised dancing that was
being taught, and participants could build on these principles to develop
their own choreographies. Hence over the next years we replaced the entire
repertoire to reflect this change, mostly developing our own
choreographies, sometimes with arrangements from outside Hungarian
teachers, and sometimes improvising dance in performances.
By the 1980s a Hungarian dancer had started a regular dancehouse (táncház)
in London, and when he retuned to Hungary some Balaton members continued
to organise this regular meeting for over 20 years.
Supported by Andy Taurins, Latvian
These secondary school pupils from the little community of Jaunpiebalga,
approximately 100 miles to the east of the Latvian capital of Riga, are
the dance group Piebaldzēni, who will be flying from Riga to Stansted
Airport in Essex to take part in the Tredegar House Folk Festival
celebrations. Their teacher writes:
Folk-dance group Piebaldzēni was founded in 1993. It joins 7 groups of
3 generations- about 140 dancers, age 3- 40 and more. Inspired by dance
teachers Lāsma Skutāne, Daira Alksnīte.
Historically Piebalga is one of the most interesting and richest cultural
areas in Latvia. The tradition of folk-dancing was characteristic already from
the 1950s. But its at its peak nowadays.
Piebaldzēni have taken part and won prizes in ALL Song and dance festivals
of Latvia that take place every 5-th year. They are good either in
ethnographic folk-dances, choreographic folk-dances or newly created
dances. Their folk costumes are authentic. An ensemble of live music
Piebaldzēni have international experience. They have taken part in
Piebalga and Latvia culture programmes in different projects of
Jaunpiebalga Secondary school in Estonia, Denmark, Finland, Sweden,
Poland, Hungary, Italy, Austria, Slovakia, Wales, Turkey, Germany,
Luxemburg. They are also active in everyday cultural life and festivals at
Andy Taurins, Latvia's honorary consul in Wales, was born in
Jaunpiebalga, but his family fled Latvia during the Second World War when
Russia invaded the country. Andy will fund the cost of a coach, which will be used to transport 12
boys, 12 girls and four female teachers from the airport to the Festival
and back. He has also extended an invitation to the Latvian ambassador,
Her Excellency Baiba Braze, to attend the Festival.
Return to Top
Some of the Festival
Regulars and UK Dance Teams
See the Home page to see which teams have confirmed for 2018
Al Rakas (Bollywood)
Al Rakas are based in Newport and Cwmbran and have
been performing together for 5 years. They enjoy experimenting with
different dance styles and music including Turkish pop, Bollywood and Folk
styles and have even choreographed a Sea Shanty medley for a pirate themed
party. Fusing moves and music to create dances they love and using a
variety of props and costume, they aim to always bring something new to
If you would like to book them for a Bellydance birthday party for all
ages over 6, hen night or other function, please ask one of the dancers
for contact details. And if you fancy having a go yourself, there is a
beginners class in Cwmbran on a Monday evening.
A lively young band of talented musicians who enjoy
performing traditional Welsh melodies in a contemporary manner, together
with exciting clogdancing and singing
Step dancing hillbilly style! Brandywine is
Bluegrass dance team from Llantarnam. They are regular visitors to
are accompanied by their band, the Grey River boys.
Caerphilly schools Uke Band
The Caerphilly Schools' Uke Band, run by Mike
Collins and Lisa Baldwin, is a new addition to the county ensembles of
Caerphilly Music Service.
After the success of Lewis and the Ukes (run by
Mike Colllins) at the Royal Albert Hall and the Evian Festival in France,
a senior county uke band was formed in September 2015 with plans to start
a junior band in September 2016.
All pupils come from schools or sixth form colleges
within the Caerphilly County Borough. The newly formed Caerphilly Schools
Uke Band will be appearing in various concerts throughout the year
including Caerphilly Music Service's concert at St. Davids Hall on
December 5th 2016.
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
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.
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
Community Space at Tesco (Gabalfa) on Western Avenue in Cardiff on Monday nights, and if you are
interested, please contact them.
Cornucopia perform Appalachian Step Clogging and
British Clog Dancing to a variety of American, Irish and British acoustic
folk music (jigs, reels and hornpipes) and are based in Wantage,
The dancers are energetic performers who are
entertaining to watch and the band is great to listen to (on a good day).
You can see them in and around Oxfordshire at folk
festivals and concerts, and you can also hire them for your own events.
The musicians, The Shady Grove String Band can be
hired separately for parties, wedding receptions and ceilidhs (barn
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 Gwerin Penyfai
Dawnswyr Pen y Fai is a team with a world-wide
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
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.
Dawnswyr Tawerin are from the Swansea area, as the
name 'Tawerin' conveys. Founded in 1975 by former Tawerin folk dance group
members from the group's time at University College Swansea.
The group has already competed in the Llangollen International Eisteddfod,
and has won the top prizes and trophies at the National Eisteddfod and the
Cerdd Dant Festival, as well as experiencing success in the Pan Celtic
Festival. The team has represented Swansea and Wales, by travelling as far
away as Sweden, Belgium, Poland, Brittany, Galicia and the Basque areas,
Isle of Man, Scotland, Ireland, Yugoslavia, Canada and the United States.
The group is trained by Karen Grayson-Cooper, who demands the highest
standards and is an experienced teacher in the performances and
interpretation of our dances. Mavis Williams Roberts is the President of
the team and one of the original members. She has contributed greatly to
the development of the Welsh folk dance through her research and by
composing new dances, based on original figures and traditional steps. Her
work has won prestigious national awards. Tawerin's stunning costume is
based on traditional Welsh patterns, and the use of industry-famous
flannel from the local area.
The group will perform
a variety of dances - court dances from the 18th and 19th Century, complex
social dances popular in their time, and the old and vibrant colorful fair
dances which are so common but unique to Wales. The musicians play the
traditional dance music, as well as tunes that have been composed in the
Welsh style, enhancing their performances.
The Desert Rosebuds have been performing at
Tredegar house Folk Festival for many years, though the line up of dancers
has changed over time. This year there are 2 new dancers who have joined
The girls will be dancing 4 routines, two of
which they choreographed themselves and 2 of which are brand new dances.
If you are interested in joining them, please pick up a Bellydance
Birthday’s leaflet from the table in the Festival Marquee or speak to
their teacher, Catherine who also provides dance birthday parties for all
ages over 6
Turbervilles Morris (Somerset)
Dr Turberville's Morris is a mixed Morris "side" or
team originally from Crewkerne in Somerset, UK. They can now be found at
Ash also in Somerset. They "do" Morris dancing - mostly Cotswold Morris
and some Border Morris. They take their name from the most famous son of
Crewkerne, the celebrated oculist Dr. D'Aubigny Turberville.
They 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, by visiting their
They 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 they 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 they are liable to appear at
events such as fêtes and fairs, where they can be recognised by their
costume of white, with green and maroon baldrics and ribbons. They can
also be seen at Folk Festivals and Morris gatherings elsewhere in the UK
and (very occasionally!) even further afield.
During the Winter months they practise their existing dances, learn new
dances, and teach new members at their base at Ash in Somerset.
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 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
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!
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 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.
Eastern Dancers was founded by a group of like-minded women in 2003 and
has been going strong ever since.
Jawahir perform all styles of Middle Eastern Dance – fusing North African,
Egyptian, Turkish and even European rhythms using traditional and modern
movement, in bright, colourful costumes which vary from full tribal to
light and airy. It doesn’t matter what shape or size you are anyone can
“shake their shimmy” and everyone is welcome to come and join us.
We meet on a Sunday from 6-7pm for Beginners at Danceworld, Dock Street,
For any Enquiries or if you’d like to book Jawahir to come and dance at an
event, please contact either Debbie Glover or Lisa Adams
Phone: 07807128765 / 07580034624
Facebook: “Jawahir Middle Eastern Dancers”
Kemysk cornish dancers
Kemysk are absolutely delighted to be back for
their 5th consecutive year at Tredegar Folk Festival where there is always
a warm welcome, an inspiring range of folk dance and a (literally)
dizzying array of ales and ciders to try!
Last summer a number of the group took part in a
special youth project for Cornwall’s year of honour at the Festival
InterCeltique de Lorient in Brittany; one of the world’s biggest Celtic
festivals. Working with a professional choreographer, the aim of the
project was to create a dance display suitable for the nightly stadium
performance (equivalent to the Edinburgh Tattoo) with an audience in its
millions on French national TV, and the Grande Parade with over 100,000
The project was a fantastic opportunity to look at
Cornwall’s dance tradition in a new way, giving the professional polish
and stylised approach needed for big arenas. Not only has it breathed new
life into our traditional dance, we’ve seen an explosion in numbers for
Kemysk with members of the project not already attached to a Cornish dance
team keen to carry on.
We’re pleased to bring you a selection of our
favourite choreography from the Lorient project along with the iconic Bal
Maiden’s costumes from Cornwall’s 20th century mining heyday (Bal meaning
‘mine’ in the Cornish language). For those of you who know and love our
contemporary costumes – fear not – we promise the fishnets will make an
appearance at some point over the weekend!
Mendip Morris men
The Mendip Morris Men are a traditional folkdance
group from the south west of England based some 40k south of Bristol in
the Mendip Hills and have been performing the traditional dances of
England since their formation in 1956.
What is commonly recognised as "The Morris" comes
from the Cotswold area of England, involving a ‘set’ of six dancers waving
handkerchiefs or clashing sticks. Certain tunes and dance names were
common across the Cotswolds, but each village adopted their own particular
dance style and variation of the tunes.
In Herefordshire and Worcestershire 'Border Morris'
is danced. Here sets of at least eight dancers have blackened faces, wear
rag coats and perform vigorous stick dances. In the North West of England
'Lancashire and Cheshire' Morris dancing takes on a more processional
style with 'sets' of at least eight dancers who wear clogs, brightly
coloured ribbons and sashes and large flower bedecked hats. The Mendip Morrismen dance all three of these different styles.
Each Morris Side has its own distinctive costume.
The Mendip Morrismen can be identified by red, gold and blue baldricks
(crossed sashes) adorned with King Alfred's Jewel on the back and the
Somerset Dragon on the front. Black Breeches and decorated straw hats
complete the outfit.
They have approximately 40 members and during the
summer months take their dances back to the places where they were
originally performed in the 16th and 17th centuries. This is would have
been on the village greens and outside the local pubs or inns.
Each week from May to September they dance at two
different venues on a Thursday evening after which they often finish the
evening off with a music and song session in the local pub. During the winter months they meet once a week to
practice their dances and to learn new ones.
Over the years they have made 40 trips to Europe to
show our dances in 12 different countries and have appeared live on German
and Czech television. A few years ago they became the first folk dance group
ever to give a display in the European Parliament Building in Brussels.
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
O'Donnell - maguire School of Irish Dancing
are a group of mixed ages from the Cardiff and Newport areas. A lot of
time not only goes into the learning of the steps but also their
appearance and I am sure you will appreciate their beautiful costumes as
well as their dancing. They are regular visitors to the festival.
Whilst Irish Dancing can be
very competitive, with competitions (Feisanna) ranging from their own
class Feis through to local 'Wales and the West Feis' and on to National
and International Championships, the O'Donnell School of Irish Dancing
believes that whatever your own personal aspirations, be it the next World
Champion or to just learn something new and keep fit along the way, it
should be FUN.
For more information, visit their
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.
Strictly Clog was formed in 2010 by three well
established clog dance friends who wanted to take clog dancing back to
basics with minimum choreography and more emphasis on the partnership with
They have since performed at Beverley, Chippenham,
Bromyard and Whitby folk festivals, as well as the annual Skipton Clog
Fest and other local events.
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
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
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 Certified
Level 3 Instructor with Gypsy Caravan & a member of the UK Caravan
Project. To find out more about Topaz Tribal & Gypsy Caravan visit the
website, send us an
e-mail, or find us on
Return to Top
Return to Top