Friday, 21 January 2011

French Dancing and Beyond: Surviving and Thriving

by Kate Grace

French Dancing and Beyond is the perfect class for those who want to explore the Old World through music, culture and dance.  Some of the dances taught in this class are very old and their origins can be traced back to medieval times.  These dances have survived the test of time; they still thrive today in France and the rest of Europe.  Come and explore the way we relate to each other through mazurkas, gavottes, asymmetrical waltzes, polkas, bourrées, branles or rondeaux -- a place to experience the powerful harmony of circles, the exhilarating fluidity of chains and the mellow complicity of partner dances.

The sessions will give you an impression of the diversity of French and European dance. You will learn dances from the centre of France, from Brittany in the west, and dances from Alsace and the Balkans in the east, dances from the Basque region in the south and dances from Sweden in the north.  Discover the fine dance repertoire of French popular bals in an easy-to-learn style.

No partner, no experience and no wooden clogs needed.

Balkan dances: Monday 6:30pm, venue yet to be confirmed (contact Kate)
French dances: Thursday 6:30pm, Nga Maara Hall, North East Valley – koha
Kate Grace is French.  She arrived in New Zealand in 1995 with kiwi husband David.  After 15 years of teaching West African folk dance with live music from songbong drums, she decided it was time to share the knowledge she has of music and dance traditions from France, her native country.  Les Belles Vilaines are a bunch of enthusiasts who explore the French and European music and dance repertoire and stage regular dances.  Info at

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