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Balfolk: French and Breton Dance Night

Thursday 17 Mar 8pm–11pm, 2022


Tickets £5

The culmination of our French Dance workshop week at Halsway; the team invite you to a public Bal, hosted by Peter Clifton with music from Yannick Minvielle-Debat (singing), Richard Heacock (violin), Paul Hutchinson (accordion) and special guest Anne Marie Summers (bagpipes).

Join us for dancing from 8pm.

The Team

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

Anne Marie Summers is a player of the English bagpipes and general multi instrumentalist best known for her work with long time musical collaborator and gurdy player Steve Tyler with whom she formed the early music ensemble Misericordia and the French/Bretton inspired group The Wendigo which also featured melodeon player Julian Sutton. In the late 90s The Wendigo produced two albums ‘This Fiery Height’ and ‘Dancing on the Sea’, original dance tunes written by the group, many of which have found there way into the ‘traditional’ repertoire of sessions and dances around Europe. Anne Marie has played in many other early music and folk ensembles over the years most notably Jon Swayne’s English bagpipe ensemble Zephyrus which raised the bar for English piping with their performances and recordings of Jon’s masterful compositions The Half Hannikin Variations and English Folksong Suite. These days she works with her voice more often than her bagpipes leading various choirs, teaching music to children with special needs and working for the charity Music in Hospitals and Care. She has recently formed a Jazz trio to perform flapper songs from the 1920s.

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.