Festival Workshops and Booking

Please select which workshop(s) you wish to attend when you book.

Workshop Info

Paul SherwoodHurdy Gurdy

Paul Sherwood will explore the basics of playing the hurdy gurdy for French dances and play a couple of easy tunes together. Suitable for D/G and G/C instruments, beginner to intermediate level.

Kerry Fletcher and Chris WalshawDance

Workshop 1Marvellous Mazurkas

We’ll be learning the traditional Morvan Mazurka and a few great variations to spice up your mazurkaing and challenge your feet. With a focus on flow and connection with your partner, you’ll be gliding around the floor at the Bal! You don’t need to bring a partner. 

Workshop 6 Variations Galore

In this workshop we’ll be learning some variations on some of the best-known couple dances, such as, 5 and 8 time Waltzes, a swing-style Scottish and Polka must-knows, the Polka Piquée and Italian. You don’t need to bring a partner. 

Workshop 11Bal Basics

With a partner in your arms and your feet dancing on the floor, come and learn or practice some of the classic couple dances, with some fun mixers too! We’ll get confident with dances like the Cercle Circassian and Chapelloise, Scottish  and Polka, with a Montagnarde and 4 person Sarzay Bourrée too, and we’ll be ready to dance our socks off by the evening Bal!

You don’t need to bring a partner, just some enthusiasm and willingness to dance with a variety of people!

All workshops are mixed level.

Smooth soled shoes are best, if you have them.

Kerry Fletcher is a traditional dancer, performer, choreographer and teacher of many styles and is passionate about traditional dance.  She has spent much time in Europe, particularly Sweden and France, learning dances from the locals! She teaches at dance clubs and festivals across the country and runs her own regular club too. Kerry is particularly keen to get those new to dance up on their feet and dancing – she believes no one has two left feet, they just need to discover the music that moves them!

Chris Walshaw has been involved in folk dance since the tender age of six. He took up whistle as a teenager and graduated onto flute, pipes and sax, playing in numerous bands for ceilidhs & bals. Currently he plays in the Climax Ceilidh Band and Oscina.

Kerry Fletcher
Chris Walshaw

Willy Pichard – Advanced Hurdy Gurdy

Ornamentation, improvisation, trumpet technique, harmonies and tuning methods.

Stevan VincendeauBreton melodeon workshop :

Level: being familiar with the instrument (synchronisation of both hands, push and pull technique),and able to learn by ear. For GC melodeons.

You will learn tunes from the Breton repertoire and work on the arrangement and accompaniment (rhythm and harmonies), style and interpretation (if time allows it). Material needed: a recording device and something to take notes.

Philippe Plard – Bourrées workshop – All levels
Philippe is offering us a journey through bourrées regions from the Berry 2-time and 3-time to the bourrées from the Massif Central.
We will explore both the Auvergne and Berry basic bourrée steps, comparing their differences of style and music. We will have fun on the strong beats, find pleasure in variations and will look at the complicity with our dance partner.

Melodeon workshop
For GC melodeons. Playful exploration of arpeggios, harmonies, chords and rhythms of a simple tune from the traditional French repertoire will be aimed at bringing quick satisfaction when playing with the variations. We will also learn one of Philippe’s compositions and will enrich it depending on the participants’ level.

David FaulknerBagpipe Workshop

David has been playing pipes for over 30 years. He plays with Zephyrus, the Eel Grinders, solo, and duets with Steve Turner. David has much experience in leading pipe workshops and has worked at many festivals across Britain and Europe. The aim of the workshops will be to extend our leaning and have some fun.  We’ll use dance music as an inspiration to look at expression, technique, harmony and variation.

We will work by ear and scores will be available on the day. The workshop will be for bagpipes in G and aimed at intermediate level players. 

Ensemble Music Workshops

David has been running folk orchestras for the past 18 years and has recently started running three of his own independent groups in Devon. He does this because it is so much fun and they sound great.

The music will be arranged in three or four parts in order to include the less experienced players as well as those with more experience and expertise. Parts will be transposed for Bb, Eb, Viola, TAB and bass players. (If you need anything else let David know beforehand!)  We will work with scores and by ear! The workshops will be inclusive, lots of fun, and we should even get to play a tune or two for the dance on Saturday evening. Let’s do it!

www.eelgrinders.co.uk

Mark Prescott – Fiddle workshop, accessible for all levels of players.

Mark will teach by ear and from written manuscript of the tunes, which will be selected from his extensive bal folk repertoire.  Depending on the level of students Mark will adapt the focus to include guidance or performance and playing for dance. 

Mark has played violin and fiddle for much of his life, bringing a unique mix of classical technique and improvisation and innovation in interpretation. Mark’s musical interests and collaborations have covered all genres of music – South American Folk, rock, blues, jazz, Irish traditional music and of course French and Breton music. Mark frequently performs with Philippe Plard and with his duos Deux Sans Frontieres and Vivant. 

Mark is well known and sought after in French Music circles for his live performances and for his engaging workshops. He has established a reputation for his enthusiastically infectious teaching style, informed by the Natural Voice Practitioner movement and allied to communicating the strong rhythmic drive that characterises his playing.  For more information on Mark’s musical projects you can visit his website:

www.markprescott.com

Peter Clifton dance workshops
Peter will cover a range of common and not quite so well-known Breton dances from Haute and Basse Bretagne. The workshop will focus on dynamics and technique. From Haute Bretagne: Ronds from Pays de Dol, Suite Loudéac, Passpied de Plaintel, and Ridée de Josselin. From Basse Bretagne: Gavottes – Bas Leon, Glazig and Brasparts as well as Kejaj (variants) and Kas ar Barh.