GWERINWYR GWENT WELSH FOLK DANCERS

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Diary May 2018

Gwerinwyr Diary May 2018 by Sue Venn

On 20th April GG was finally able to fulfil the booking originally arranged for 2nd March, but cancelled when heavy snow intervened. The event was a twmpath for the PTA of Ysgol Bro Allta, which was celebrating 25 years as a Welsh medium school. We demonstrated a couple of dances then got the audience on their feet to join in with some easy ceilidh dances, with calling in Welsh and English by Rhian and Ceri. After a break for the buffet, we continued with more of the same until 9pm when the disco took over. Disappointingly for the DJ, by the time we were packed up and ready to leave, no-one apart from GG members (in costume) had been on the dance floor. It looked like a long night ahead for him! I do hope they all enjoyed the rest of their evening.

Another ceilidh was requested on 1st May at the Coldra Holiday Inn Hotel, to entertain a visiting group from Norway who come to Wales on an annual basis.   We usually find our European cousins are eager to dance, and so it proved on this occasion, with MC Barbara Griffiths interspersing a taste of Welsh culture to give the dancers a breather. 

It didn’t seem possible that twelve months had passed since the last Tredegar House Folk Festival, but there we were on 12th May performing two spots at the 29th annual festival. Members were also involved with the mini gwyl plant which featured two local schools and the visiting Ralda dance group from Eastern Holland. The unexpectedly good weather brought out the crowds, especially on the warmer Sunday, and they were entertained by thirty different dance sides in two marquees, plus outside busking stages, the colourful procession, children’s entertainers, Camra bar etc etc.

The music side was popular too with a sell-out concert on Friday night featuring Phil Millichip and Huw Williams. Saturday night had a strong Celtic feel with Welsh bands Mansant and Morfa supporting headliners Radio 2 folk award winning Imar. Imar has members from Scotland, England and the Isle of Man, and all have a background of traditional Irish music. The Sam Kelly Trio made up the quartet of acts with some people travelling especially to see them.

At the time of writing, GG’s next outing will be at the National Eisteddfod on the 8th August. The format of the Eisteddfod will be very different this year as it is being held in Cardiff Bay and the usual fee for entry onto the site will not apply. Visitors will be able to browse the many stalls and watch dance displays and other entertainment for free, only paying to enter the Millennium Centre to watch the competitions and concerts. It is hoped that this format will encourage more local and non-Welsh speaking people to attend.

GG meets on Thursdays from 8 -10pm at the Graig Community Hall, Bassaleg, NP10 8LG (opposite the Ruperra PH) and we would love more dancers and musicians to join us. Visit our website www.gwerinwyrgwent.org.uk, ring 01495 271953, or just come along and give it a try.