Come and enjoy the Christmas celebrations at Halsway Manor in the company of Ivan Aitken, your MC and Caller, supported by Gareth Kiddier (piano) and Paul Hutchinson (piano accordion). There will be fun and games, and possibly frolics. Ivan has a very relaxed style of calling all types of dance including contra and squares and the entire period of English dance from then until now. There may be singing, and walking, and optional music workshops, or possibly sitting. All this, and the wonderful Halsway atmosphere, great food and a roaring log fire.
Arrive a day early for the Dinner & Folk Dance: £40 per person inc B&B
Who’s it For?
Everyone who would like to dance and sing at Christmas!
Ivan Aitken is a dancer and caller from Reading in Berkshire. He is a regular caller at local clubs, and also calls for dances and workshops at clubs and festivals throughout the country. Ivan calls for dancers of all abilities, and has worked with many well known bands. He has called at Sidmouth, Chippenham, Broadstairs and Bromyard festivals, at Halsway Manor and other dance weekends. Ivan likes to call a mixture of English, American and Scottish dances and is always on the lookout for new and interesting dances to add to his repertoire.
Gareth Kiddier has been playing on the folk dance scene for in excess of 15 years and is a passionate dancer, all of which shows in his driving rhythmical support of the dance tunes using well considered harmonic chords. When not with PolkaWorks he may be heard playing most weekends of the year with English Contra Dance Band, The Watch and other occasional line-ups. With PolkaWorks he sits in the corner, plays the piano and does as he is told!
Paul Hutchinson is regarded as one of the top accordionists in the country due to his unique and refreshing approach to playing. He is the Resident Accordion Tutor at Cecil Sharp House, the home of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, and at Halsway Manor in Somerset, the Centre for English Traditional Arts. His keen interest in and knowledge of 17th & 18th century music has resulted in appearances at festivals in the UK, mainland Europe and the USA. Fusion music has always appealed to him since his days in noted Celtic jazzers, Hoover the Dog – now the duo Pagoda provides a vehicle for his own compositions with more than a helping hand from jazz clarinettist, Karen Wimhurst.