What is Balfolk?
The name Balfolk refers to a mix of dances based on traditional (“folk”) music from Europe, and sometimes beyond.
It rose in the last few decades as a movement of rediscovery and modernization of dances and music from popular traditions. The core of the repertoire includes dances from France and other parts of Europe: the classical couple dances such as valzer, polka, mazurka; the bourrée, a partner dance without physical contact; dances in chain from Brittany, characterized by rhythmic and repetitive music; the so called “mixers” that allow changing partners and to get to know the other dancers. In addition to these, there also exist a myriad of other “international” dances coming from Italy, Poland, Germany, Spain and Portugal, Greece, the Balkans, Ireland, Israel, and more.
All the dances in Balfolk are simple and spontaneous, meant to be easily picked up and enjoyed by everyone. The community is made of local groups of dancers and is spread all over Europe. It grows through local events, spontaneous gatherings made for dancing in the streets, courses from teachers and from peers, concerts with live music, and international festivals.
About this workshop
This workshop will be a primer introduction to Balfolk. We will learn the basic steps of a few group and couple dances, we’ll try different styles, begin to recognize which dance is associated with each music, and get a feeling for the variety and creativity proper of this world. There will be moments for freely dancing and experimenting with what we will learn.
It is not necessary to be in a couple, and no prior knowledge is required.
To discover more
“What is Balfolk?” from the Dutch association balfolk.nl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09p2maUC_g8
Trailer of the documentary "Le Grand Bal" about Le Grand Bal d'Europe, the biggest folk festival in Europe taking place once a year in Gennetines, France https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPOc6MRWri8