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Gwerinwyr Diary November 2014 by Sue Venn


On 14th June GG took part in this year’s Gwyl Ifan in Cardiff. Groups from around Wales, plus teams from abroad come together to dance at various locations around the city centre. It is a weekend event with twmpaths taking place on Friday and Saturday evenings. It was a lovely day weatherwise, and as GG hasn’t taken part for a few years, it was nice to be involved again. The highlight was a parade to the green outside city hall, the raising of a maypole and all the groups dancing around it.

GG outside City Hall, Cardiff Raising the Maypole

At the end of June/beginning of July members of GG were on duty for Gwyl Plant over several weekends. This is the festival of Welsh dance for young schoolchildren that was started 33 years ago by members of GG. Children from all over Gwent dance at Newport, Cwmbran, Abertillery and Abergavenny, outside if fine and indoors if wet. This year a mini Gwyl Plant took place before the start of the Tredegar House Folk Festival and it is hoped to repeat and even enlarge it in 2015

July brought another opportunity for GG to join with other groups from around the country and overseas….this time at the Day of Dance held annually at the Botanic Gardens of Wales. Saturday 19th was a hot sunny day and Welsh groups were joined by a group from Karelia in Russia and an Irish set dancing team from Carrigaline in Co. Cork. Displays and mass dancing took place all day at various venues around the gardens.

Russian Dancers at the Day of Dance

Gwerinwyr Gwent enjoy the sunshine

On August 7th we travelled to Llanelli to dance at the National Eisteddfod…another lovely day, what a good summer we had this year. We weren’t there to take part in any of the competitions, just to display some dances to entertain the visitors at various sites around the ground.

Four of the team enjoy a lunch break at the Eisteddfod

On to September, and on Saturday 6th we made our second visit of the year to the village of Llanover near Abergavenny, this time to be part of the entertainment at Llanover village fete. Unfortunately, for once the weather wasn’t so kind to us and the afternoon was interrupted by a heavy and prolonged bout of rain. However it did eventually stop and we were able to complete our programme, and even encourage some visitors to join us in some easy dances. These included two 5 year old girls who picked it up remarkably quickly…perhaps we should have signed them up as future members!

During the last year we have actually attracted some new (and younger) members, but we still need more, especially men, if the group is to continue for the next 38 years. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t danced before, come along and give it a try…the types of step in Welsh folk dancing are few and simple. We would also love to recruit some additional musicians, so do get in touch if you play an instrument and have a couple of hours spare on a Thursday evening.

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 PH.

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