Folk Song in Harmony with Issy Emeney (Fringe Tent 10.00 Saturday – Wristband Only)
Issy Emeney has a natural gift for harmony and is a talented composer writing songs with beautiful melodies. She coaches Mendip Folk Choir and is an experienced workshop leader. In this workshop you will experience the joy of singing in harmony with others.
Border Morris Workshop with Enigma (Eastwater Marquee 10.30 Saturday – Free)
Border Morris is a collection of individual local dances from villages along the English side of the Wales-England border in the counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire. The common features of the dances are the rather short sticks and sometimes a stick and handkerchief version of the same dance, also usually a high single step akin to the local country dance step. Enigma is an enthusiastic side keen to share their joy of dancing and are notable for their striking blue and black costumes.
Shanties with Kimber’s Men (Fringe Tent 11.30 Saturday – Wristband Only)
Come and join Kimber’s Men and learn more about sea shanties and the joy of singing them.
Circle Dance Workshop (Eastwater Marquee 12.00 Saturday – Free)
For the first time, we are introducing a circle dancing workshop on Saturday afternoon in the Eastwater marquee. Circle dance draws on music and dance traditions both ancient and modern. The music (from Greece, Bulgaria and Romania and beyond) is hauntingly beautiful and often employs unusual and exciting dance rhythms in unfamiliar time signatures. Circle dances are communal and you don’t need a partner or previous experience. The dances will be led by an experienced and engaging teacher Hazel Young, and accompanied by live music from Bob Minney, Morag Allen and friends.
Bal Workshop (Eastwater Marquee 14.00 Saturday – Free)
We are excited to be trying Bal for the first time at this year’s festival. Originating in France, it is a dance style that has been gaining popularity across Europe since the 1970s. Steps are simple and the music infectious: the band guides the programme and dancers can interpret the tunes in any way they wish.
The atmosphere for a Bal is relaxed and designed for community enjoyment. There will be a workshop in the Eastwater Marquee on Saturday and a Bal dance for our late-night session at the Village Hall. The Confluence Duo from the New Forest will be providing the music with cello and accordion.
Mendip Stepping Workshop with Somerstep (Eastwater Marquee 10.30 Sunday – Free)
Somerstep were formed to keep the tradition of step dancing alive on Mendip. In years gone by there were step dancing competitions in the area. In this workshop they plan to teach basic southern English steps, the Priddy Handkerchief dance and a broom dance
Fiddle Tunes with Liz Tedbury (Sessions Tent 10.30 Sunday – Free)
Liz Tedbury and friends lead a session of fiddle tunes with accompaniment. Liz is the gifted fiddle player from Moonfire and has run workshops and sessions in Bristol and Somerset for many years. Her relaxed style and encouragement makes playing really enjoyable. Expect harmonies, improvisation and above all a lot of fun.
Bodhran Workshop (Fringe Tent 10.00 Sunday – Wristband Only)
Rob Wheatley has played bodhran for many years and is a great teacher. He has been the resident Bodhran tutor at Towersey Festival for the past five years
Village Band Workshop (Fringe Tent 11.30 Sunday – Wristband Only)
The Irish tradition isn’t all about jigs and reels played at breakneck speed. This year, the Somerset Russets will be taking you through some accessible Irish tunes in a variety of rhythms, all arranged in parts for village band. Join us and play some great music in glorious harmony. The ability to sight-read is an advantage. (Music-stand helpful but not essential.) Ear players welcome to pick up the tunes “on the fly”