GWERINWYR GWENT WELSH FOLK DANCERS

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Diary March 2022

Gwerinwyr Diary March 2022 by Sue Venn

Finally, after more than two years Gwerinwyr Gwent has been able to dance in public again, and what a day we chose for our comeback!  Sunday 27th March saw us back at one of our old favourites: Llanover (open to the public as part of the National Garden Scheme’s charity fund raising), on a beautiful sunny afternoon.

Llanover is the first garden of the season to open in Gwent, so what with the lovely weather and it being Mothering Sunday, people just flooded in and a huge sum was raised for charity.

Only six dancers were available, and we felt rather nervous as we have had so little practice. We performed almost our entire repertoire of three-couple dances (nine in all), so obviously everyone had to dance every dance....and we are definitely not 100% ‘match-fit’ yet. Fortunately we had an excellent band of six talented musicians with us, and they entertained the audience with musical interludes to enable the dancers to catch their breath. If only we could have their services at every booking, we desperately need to recruit extra musicians as well as dancers.

The vast majority of people were there to view the beautiful garden with its swathes of daffodils lining the drive, and magnolia and blossom trees dotted beside the stream that runs through the grounds, only watching us in passing or while taking refreshments. So it was a good relaxing place to practice appearing in public once more.

It will be very different at one of our next outings....the Tredegar House Folk Festival....on the weekend of the 6th - 8th May. There the audience definitely will be sitting watching us, but we will have just a 15 minute spot so can concentrate on practicing the three or four dances that we choose to perform.

On the subject of the folk festival, there are two amendments to details published in the previous magazine. Sadly there will be no mini Gwyl Plant this year, and also German dancers  Schwabishe Trachtengruppe from Heidenheim, Newport’s twin town, have postponed their visit until 2023. Both of these cancellations are for the same understandable reason....lack of practice. But, as the website states, there will still be the finest Welsh, UK and International folk dance teams you will ever see in one place in Britain....and all with free entry! Meirani from Latvia will be headlining.

Gwerinwyr Gwent would love to recruit some new dancers, especially men! Welsh dance steps are basic and few, it is just the patterns of the dances that need to be learned. We would also be delighted to welcome extra musicians to join our little band. Practice night is Thursday 8-10pm at the Graig Community Hall, Bassaleg (opposite the Ruperra Arms). Either just come along, ring 01495 271953 for more details, or check out our Facebook page.