GUEST ARTISTS 2018
Sue Rosen (USA)
Bruce Rosen & Graham DeZarn (USA)
I have been dancing my whole life. After discovering country dance (Contradance and Squares, English Country Dance, Morris and Sword dance) as a young adult, my love of dance became a central part of my life. Years later, with the encouragement of some important people in the dance world, I took up teaching and calling dances, and writing contra dances.
Over the past twenty years I've had great fun leading country dancing (American, English, family dances and parties) throughout New England, across the country and in Europe, working with so many incredibly talented musicians along the way. The best part remains meeting new people, making great friends, and seeing the smiling faces on the dance floor.
I've had the pleasure and satisfaction of organizing dance events, camps and festivals for over 30 years for the New England Folk Festival Association, the Country Dance and Song Society, Country Dance Society (Boston Centre) and the monthly contradance and potluck dinner in Carlisle, Massachuetts.
In 2005, Becky Hill, caller and choreographer from Cleveland, Ohio, and I collaborated in publishing The Rosen Hill Collection, a book of our dance compositions. It has been gratifying to hear that a number of my dances have become favorites around the contradancing world.
Ian was introduced to folk dancing by his parents at about the age of ten and has been involved ever since. He started calling whilst at Liverpool University in the sixties and, with Margaret whom he met through folk dancing, was much influenced by the expertise and advice of Ethyl Anderson. 40+ years on he is not only an experienced caller but also a musician - he led Cumbrian Gap for over 30 years - and an active initiator and organiser of regular folk dance activities in Cumbria, notably Reelfolk, the Spring Weekend at Casterton and the Summer Week at Morland. Margaret has also played in the band since the beginning and as the duo Kendal Green they run the regular ‘First Sunday Club’ in Cumbria and have appeared at the Southam Festival, the Bournemouth ‘Light Hearted Dance Weekend’ and elsewhere in the UK, France, Holland and Lithuania.
Ian has called at all the major festivals including Eastbourne, Lichfield, Chippenham, Southam and Bromyard. His opening dance with Belshazzar’s Feast at the 2001 Sidmouth Festival was rated one of the highlights of the week and certainly one of the funniest. Ian is particularly keen on working with dancers to achieve that highest of goals: “making the music visible”.
Ivan Aitken, from Reading in Berkshire, is a caller with many years experience. He calls at many local clubs and festival appearances include Broadstairs, Bromyard, Chippenham, Eastbourne and Sidmouth. His extensive repertoire includes 'old favourites', modern dances and everything in between. He has a very clear way of explaining even the most complicated moves and is at ease calling for experienced dancers or beginners.
Having been a dancer all her life, Victoria is now also a caller of international repute. She calls a varied repertoire from across the common genres from Playford to American contras. She enjoys teaching workshops and says "I am firmly of the view that we enjoy dancing more when we dance well and with the music." Dancers report that Victoria's calling is clear, concise and good humoured!
3D is Chris, Julie and Nick Dewhurst, our very own local Lichfield band!. They have a busy schedule playing for English and Scottish dance events and festivals up and down the country. Their roots in folk music go back many years, but they have played as a family band since 1997.
The band is equally at home playing romping reels and sensitive slow airs, strict Scottish and purest Playford (well, as pure as you can get with two accordions, drum kit and trumpet!) They enjoy bringing the music to life with their own unique interpretations, drawing on many different musical styles, but their aim is always to fit the tune perfectly to the dance, and to provide that essential 'lift' to help keep dancers on their toes. They also have many CDs – ask them to show you – the latest is Razamatazz – pure joy!
The Dewhursts have been focusing on the music of Pat Shaw in this his centenary year, and Chris will be leading a workshop on Shaw's music, as well as playing for dancing.
Keeping Thyme is one of the most versatile bands in the country. Based in the South Midlands with a fiddle, accordion
base guitar line-up, Julia, Shane and Tina enjoy playing elegant Playford, lively squares, zesty contras and anything else demanded of them (well, almost). Their unfailing good humour adds to the lively atmosphere they create with their music. You will find them performing regularly for Saturday dances, residential dance weekends and most of the major dance festivals - do they have any weekends free from dance?
'Kendal Green Folk Dance Band'
Ian and Margaret met through folk dancing. Once married, in 1968, and having moved away from the lively Merseyside folk scene to Appleby in Westmorland it was a very short time before they had formed a band and were much in demand in the Eden Valley district for dances.
In 1975 ‘Cumbrian Gap Folk Dance Band’ was formed and Ian and Margaret led that band for over 30 years. They initiated and continue to be involved with regular folk activities in Cumbria, notably Reelfolk, the Spring Weekend at Casterton and the Summer Week at Morland.
Now, as the duo Kendal Green, they run the regular ‘First Sunday Club’ in Cumbria, an annual weekend at Cober Hill near Scarborough and have appeared at the Southam, Bromyard, Chippenham and Lichfield Festivals, the Bournemouth ‘Light Hearted Dance Weekend’ and elsewhere in the UK, France, Holland and Lithuania.
Kendal Green plays regularly for dances and workshops and particularly enjoys the opportunity at weekends, festivals and workshop days, to encourage dancers to respond to the music so that the dances become ‘visible music’.
Bruce Rosen & Graham DeZarn
Bruce has been part of Boston's contra and English country dance community since the mid-70s as a dancer and musician. His rock solid piano and guitar accompaniment is sought after by many of New England's best contra dance musicians. Bruce also plays piano for English country dancing, appearing frequently in Jamaica Plain (MA), as well as other New England venues. As part of Boston's traditional music scene, he plays guitar at Irish sessions and in performance with the West Newton Ceili Band, and drives the rhythm at Old Time music jams on the banjo ukelele. In the early 90s, Bruce took up the button accordion, and has played for the Pinewoods MorrisMen,
Ha'Penny Morris, and the Commonwealth Morris Men. Bruce has collaborated on four recordings of New England contra dance music.
He will be joined by Graham on the fiddle.
One of the UK's top folk dance bands, Knotted Chord is a regular visitor to folk dance clubs and folk festivals around the country and is a popular choice for barn dances and ceilidhs at private parties including weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, fundraisers, and community events.
Band members live in Harrogate and Market Deeping and we aim to meet up somewhere in the middle. Our Saturday catchment area covers most of the Midlands and Yorkshire - from Leicestershire to Lancashire, Lichfield to Lincoln and everywhere in between - including Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Durham, Harrogate and York.
On weekdays, Philip and Joshua work with other local musicians and will travel up to half an hour's journey from Harrogate.
Continuing the tradition of many years, there is an opportunity for those who can read music to join the Festival band on Sunday afternoon to help bring this years Festival to its climax. Music will be provided, and a preparatory workshop will be held on Sunday morning for those who would like a chance to run through the programme beforehand. The Festival Band combines all the festival band musicians who are able to gather at the final afternoon session.