GWERINWYR GWENT WELSH FOLK DANCERS
Gwerinwyr Diary May 2022 by Sue Venn
On 21st April we had our first indoor booking since March 2020. This was at the Christchurch Centre in Malpas after receiving an invitation from the Legacy Ladies group to appear at one of their monthly meetings. As these are outreach meetings with lunch included, it was very well attended by both sexes, although only utilising under half the space in the huge carpeted hall.
Barbara Griffiths, our MC, gave a 3-part talk on Lord and Lady Llanover and we interspersed that with displays and audience participation until we were lucky enough to join them for lunch....a very pleasant morning for us, and I hope everyone present.
The last Tredegar House Folk Festival was the 30th anniversary in 2019, so it was with much celebration that the 31st festival finally took place on the 6th – 8th May. GG had a 20 minute spot on the Saturday afternoon and it was lovely to be back among all the other teams to dance in front of an audience. The weather was great and crowds of people flocked to the festival, many of them saying it was wonderful to be back and how much they had missed being able to enjoy the music, dancing and the atmosphere.
The warm weather caused the CAMRA bar to completely sell out halfway through Sunday afternoon which caused some dismay, although there were other drinks outlets available. The international dance team visiting this year was Lubana with Meirani from Latvia, and they always put on a spectacular display. We were fortunate to also have two UK based teams of Bulgarian dancers, plus all the local dance teams with styles including Welsh, Scottish, Morris Appalachian, Clog, Indian and Middle Eastern/Belly Dancing
Musical highlights included Welsh bands Calan, Alaw, and Rusty Shackle plus new youth supergroup Avanc....and what a lasting impression they made with their energetic playing, clogging and singing, check them out on their website. Also appearing were Bob Fox and Billy Mitchell and, replacing Barbara Dickson who sadly was taken ill at the last moment, Show of Hands who were on a UK tour and fortunately had that weekend free.
The following weekend (14th) we took a trip into England to dance at the Bradford-on-Avon Green Man Festival. This was our 3rd appearance and we have seen it grow from an all Morris dance team event, to a Morris plus GG festival, into a really varied dance festival. It takes place on just one day with dancing at five different venues around the town. Once again a lovely sunny day...in fact much too warm for us in our woollen costumes....but it brought out plenty of people to watch, and at least the belly dancers had the appropriate costume on!
Gwerinwyr Gwent is always seeking new members, and beginners or experienced dancers/musicians are very welcome. Practice night (numbers permitting) is Thursday 8-10pm at the Graig Community Hall (opposite the Ruperra PH).For more details ring 01495 271953.