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Diary July 2015

Gwerinwyr Diary July 2015 by Sue Venn

The Tredegar House Folk Festival is always a big event in GG’s diary, as many members are heavily involved either on the committee and/or as hosts to visiting dancers. This years’ festival (9th – 11th May) saw the return of our friends Degumnieki from Latvia. Their dancing is always very entertaining, particularly the hopping on one leg holding the ankle of the person in front dance. GG danced 2 spots on Saturday afternoon, the weather was kind this year, and the crowds that came along enjoyed the music, dancing and real ale. The Saturday evening concert, which included local acts the Meg Cox band and Allan-yn-y-fan, was headlined by Gordie McKeeman and his Rhythm Boys all the way from Prince Edward Island in Canada. What a treat they were too, with Gordie’s fantastic fiddle playing and dancing – sometimes both at the same time!

On Saturday 20th June, on a very warm day, members of GG joined many other Welsh folk dance groups from across Wales, plus visiting dancers from West Cork, to take part in Gwyl Ifan 2015. This year, in a change to the usual venue, dancing took place at various sites around Cardiff Bay. The procession carrying the maypole left the Angel hotel in the city centre to catch water buses to the Bay. The maypole was erected near the Millennium Centre and dancing commenced at 11am and finished with mass dancing at about 4.30pm (not continuously – we would have been exhausted!).

We had a very busy weekend at the end of June, starting with a double-header on Thursday 25th. In the afternoon we were at Risca U3A’s monthly social meeting to give them some demonstrations, a short talk on our costumes and some audience participation in some simple ceilidh dances. We performed practically the same programme later in the day for Machen WI. Friday evening with slight changes of personnel, we had a similar programme for the resident’s association meeting at Cwmfelinfach community centre. I’m pleased to say that on each occasion the audience joined in enthusiastically with very little prompting, and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Saturday 27th June was a very different occasion, when on another warm sunny day, we were in Caldicot to take part in the proclamation of the 2016 National Eisteddfod. GG, Widders Morris from Chepstow and local schoolchildren danced, while on the stage various choirs also entertained the crowds. In the afternoon we took our place in the procession to Caldicot castle where the Gorsedd officially proclaimed the 2016 eisteddfod which will be held in August near Abergavenny.

Saturday 11th July saw us in Henllys village for their annual fete. The fete was really well attended and GG danced on the road right in front of the Dorallt pub, where the nice weather meant the garden was full of people enjoying a drink in the sunshine. We did 3 spots finishing with a simple circle dance to get the audience involved.

Gwerinwyr Gwent is always seeking new members, and beginners or experienced dancers/musicians are very welcome. Practice night is Thursday 8 – 10pm at the Graig Community Hall, Bassaleg…opposite the Ruperra Pub.

For more details, visit our website, ring 01495 271953, or just come along and give it a try.