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Playford Liberation Front

Friday 25 Nov 4pm — Sunday 27 Nov 5pm, 2016

To make a booking enquiry please complete the form below. We will contact you to confirm availability and complete your booking.

Course Enquiry

  • Halsway Manor will not share your details with any third parties.


Full board per person (all meals, accommodation, activities):

  • £220 – single ensuite room
  • £195 – sharing an ensuite room
  • £195 – single non-ensuite room
  • £150 – sharing non-ensuite room

Camping per person (all meals, and activities):

  • £140

Non Resident (all meals except breakfast, and activities):

  • £130

An intensive workshop weekend event for musicians and dancers who want to learn more about the treasure trove of music and dances published by John Playford in the English Dancing Master in 1651. This is about discovery and experimentation and is aimed at musicians, dancers and dance teachers who have little or even no previous experience with this material.  Music workshops will include interpreting the music in different and danceable ways and working effectively with dance teachers and dancers. For dancers there will be opportunities to learn Playford dances and work with, and give feedback to, the musicians about what makes these dances really take off.

In 1651, John Playford published The English Dancing Master –  a collection of country dances and tunes. It was to be the start of a publishing phenomenon, eventually running to eighteen editions, comprising around 580 dances and tunes and spanning three generations of the Playford family across 65 years.The Playford Liberation Front draw on this rich musical heritage to create something new, vibrant and resolutely modern, while still retaining a reverence and respect for the source material. For more information on The Playford Liberation Front, go to their website.

 “This was probably the best music course I have ever been on; Karen is an inspirational musician and workshop leader!” Participant

Who’s it For?

This is about discovery and experimentation and is aimed at musicians, dancers and dance teachers who have little or even no previous experience with this material.  People with a lot of previous experience of Playford are very welcome but please arrive with an open mind about trying new ideas and different approaches.

The Team

Peter Giles is an experienced folk dance caller/performer/writer from Cambridge, who also enjoys playing the trumpet. He first started Playford dancing with The Round whilst at University, and has a broad experience of many British, European and American folk dance styles. Peter is the regular teacher for the Cam-French dancing group and helps out at the residential contra dance weeks in Ely.

Kerry Fletcher is a traditional dancer, performer and dance teacher of many styles who works as a community folk dance artist specialising in British, European and American dance, both percussive and social. Kerry has spent much time in Europe, particularly Sweden and France; her training includes both classical and academic work and she has experience and qualifications in many areas of dance.

Hannah Moore is an emerging theatre practitioner whose theatrical training began at a young age in youth theatre companies, and who went on to study a wide range of dance styles and complete the one year course in circus training at Circomedia, Bristol. She was a member of Samara Dance Company and has worked as Choreographer and Movement Director on a range of productions including at Oxford Playhouse. Supported by Halsway Manor, she has been selected as one of 32 emerging artists to watch and awarded a 2015 Performing Arts Fellowship by BBC PAF fund.

Karen Wimhurst is a freelance composer and clarinettist.  She has been commissioned by festivals, ensembles and theatre companies throughout the UK. Currently she performs with the jazz ensemble Misbehavin’ and free jazz outfit Zaum (‘the most exciting group in Europe today’ Penguin Guide to Jazz ‘06’), and on the folk circuit she performs with PLF, Pagoda and tours her own show ‘Fruit of Paradise’.

Fiona Barrow is a Bristol based professional violinist who trained classically before defecting to the ‘folk side’! Her love of traditional music took her to the west coast of Ireland where she played for 2 years, before making a living as a street musician for several years travelling across Europe. She has toured to Istanbul, Macedonia and Bosnia (with the Doppelganger gypsy orchestra), while her work in theatre has taken her to Broadway, to Sydney Australia, New Zealand and South Carolina. Closer to home Fiona was musician in residence in the Blackdown hills for a year with storyteller Jane Flood creating new work with local communities and drawing on local Somerset traditions, which developed into rural-touring piece ʻThe Chimechildʼ. Fiona is currently touring with the children’s show ʻPeter and The Wolf,ʼ and with the acclaimed show ʻPiaf -The Songsʼ. She has played for folk dancing for many years, with the duo Bristol Players, and with Paul Hutchinson, appearing at Sidmouth, Broadstairs, Chippenham folk festivals amongst others.