The pinnacle of our French and Breton Dance Week, join our ace team for a French Bal.
The teaching team of Peter Clifton, Karen Prager and Yannick Minvielle-Debat, and musicians Richard Heacock & Paul Hutchinson are joined tonight by special guest musician Nigel Eaton (hurdy gurdy).
Peter Clifton is an expert tutor of French and Breton Dance, and teaches regularly at the French Dance Stroud monthly events. He has also run workshops at Pentreffest, European music and dance festival (Kinnersley), Shrewsbury folk festival and the Festival des Panards.
Yannick Minvielle-Debat ’s involvement in traditional French and Breton music ranges from singing for dancing in a band, The Wizards of Noz and in a duo with an accordionist, Steve Turner, organising an annual French music festival in Todmorden, teaching Breton call and response songs to running dance workshops for all abilities and ages. She also plays the hurdy-gurdy to the great despair of her husband! Born in France, Yannick now lives in Keighley, Yorkshire within earshot of the heritage railway line featured in the Railway Children. www.frenchdanceschools.org.uk
Richard Heacock (violin) began playing for folk dance with The Vale Islanders Playford group and Icknield Way Morris. He later joined English traditional group Boldwood, and produced their first CD “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now.” He discovered French and Breton dance music in 2004 and played in a duo with accordionist Becky Price at Kinnersley, Horsley and Ide. He currently plays in Breton trio The Andro Sisters, and with Paul Hutchinson. Richard is a frequent visitor to Halsway, and has taught and played on the Playing Playford, French Dance and Poldark Dance courses.
Paul Hutchinson (accordion) is a member of the much-loved duo Belshazzar’s Feast (nominated for Best Duo at the BBC Folk Awards in 2010) and fusion duo Pagoda Project. Regarded as one of the top accordionists in the UK, Paul is the resident accordion tutor at Cecil Sharp House, and a regular tutor and musician at Halsway Manor. Paul is much in demand as a player for dancing which has resulted in appearances at festivals in the UK, Europe and the USA.
Nigel Eaton is one of, if not the foremost player of the hurdy gurdy in the UK. Eaton has performed as a member of Whirling Pope Joan (with Julie Murphy), Blowzabella, Ancient Beatbox, The Duellists, and Firestarters of Leiden. He has released two solo albums, The Music of the Hurdy-Gurdy (1987) and Pandemonium (2002), and the collaborative album Panic at the Café (1993) with Andy Cutting.
As a session musician, Nigel has contributed to the film scores for Robin Hood, The Shipping News, Kingdom of Heaven, Aliens, Mansfield Park, Tulip Fever, and Carl Davis’ 1980 score for the 1927 silent film Napoléon. He has collaborated and recorded with a diverse range of other artists including Afro Celt Sound System, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Scott Walker, Gary Kemp, Bombay Bicycle Club, Blue Aeroplanes, Martin Simpson, Moya Brennan, Maddy Prior, June Tabor and more. On a previous visit to Halsway, Nigel wrote “The Halsway Schottische”, a song which later became “The Halsway Carol” (with lyrics by friend and collaborator Iain Frisk) and has seen hundreds of versions performed.