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Diary 2013

Gwerinwyr Diary June 2013 by Sue Venn


On 13th April GG travelled to Devon to take part in the Crediton Folk Festival, which is actually held in the village of Cheriton Fitzpayne. Despite the miserable weather we all had a good time and our Welsh folk dancing made a nice contrast to the Morris dancing that most of the other dance teams performed.


The following week some of us had a busy day on Saturday 20th April as we had received a phone request from a production assistant on the X Factor, asking us to take part in their auditions day in Cardiff. Not to compete in the programme! Just to lend some local colour.  After hanging around for 2 hours we eventually performed one short adapted folk dance on the tiny stage and also danced ‘Gangnam Style’ in our costumes, hopefully proving that folk dancers aren’t stuffy. Whether any of it makes it into the programme remains to be seen!


The same evening we held a fundraising twmpath at the WI in Rogerstone on behalf of the Tredegar House Folk Festival. There wasn’t as big a crowd as last year, but everyone present had a good time and a decent amount was raised. So thanks to everyone who attended.


On Sunday 28th April we took part in a 10 minute mass dance at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay. There was a whole afternoon and evening of free entertainment on 2 stages in the foyer in celebration of May Day. Some exceptional bands took part including Alaw and Callan.


The weekend of 10th – 12th May brought the 24th annual Tredegar House Folk Festival. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t kind and the Latvian and Finnish dancers who had left sunshine and temperatures of 24 degrees behind them, found it decidedly chilly. But once again despite the weather, a wonderful festival was held. The Latvian dancers in particular were superb, well supported by dancers from Finland, Ireland and of course many local groups. There was some great music too from the likes of Mabon, The Young ‘Uns, Flossie Mallavialle , Bob Fox and many others.


An innovation this year was for the 2 international dance teams to hold workshops at local primary schools. The Latvian team ‘Degumnieki’ went to Ty Sign school in Risca and Lovisa Folkdansare from Finland to Abertillery. The children were spellbound, and at break time in Ty Sign the youngest were seen practicing a move where each dancer hops on one leg while holding the foot of the person in front – much to the bemusement of the teacher who hadn’t been at the workshop!


On the cold and miserable Saturday morning of the festival the 2 teams came together with members of GG to fly their flags, along with the Welsh Dragon, on the gondola of the Newport Transporter Bridge. Lovisa danced from the east to the west bank and Degumnieki on the return journey.


Gwerinwyr Gwent is 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 Arms.  For more details, ring 01495 271953, or just come along and give it a try.