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Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years

Rain Dog 15 Nov 10 - 08:29 AM
Wheatman 15 Nov 10 - 08:35 AM
Alan Day 15 Nov 10 - 08:47 AM
GUEST,LDT 15 Nov 10 - 09:28 AM
Cats 22 Nov 10 - 05:26 PM
GUEST,PeterC 23 Nov 10 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,LDT 23 Nov 10 - 11:58 AM
Ross Campbell 25 Nov 10 - 11:46 PM
johnadams 10 Dec 10 - 07:05 PM
GUEST 11 Dec 10 - 05:41 AM
Wheatman 11 Dec 10 - 05:51 AM
GUEST,Dave Eyre 11 Dec 10 - 05:59 AM
Folknacious 11 Dec 10 - 06:12 AM
Will Fly 11 Dec 10 - 06:18 AM
Alan Day 11 Dec 10 - 06:38 AM
Alan Day 11 Dec 10 - 06:47 AM
squeezeboxhp 11 Dec 10 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,erbert 11 Dec 10 - 07:41 AM
Folknacious 11 Dec 10 - 07:44 AM
Will Fly 11 Dec 10 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,Richard Bridge on the new computer 11 Dec 10 - 08:54 AM
GUEST,glueman 11 Dec 10 - 09:04 AM
autoharpbob 11 Dec 10 - 09:16 AM
VirginiaTam 11 Dec 10 - 09:52 AM
Paul Davenport 11 Dec 10 - 10:04 AM
Folknacious 11 Dec 10 - 10:05 AM
Will Fly 11 Dec 10 - 10:53 AM
Marje 11 Dec 10 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 11 Dec 10 - 11:12 AM
LesB 11 Dec 10 - 11:13 AM
mikesamwild 11 Dec 10 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,glueman 11 Dec 10 - 11:28 AM
VirginiaTam 11 Dec 10 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,Santa 11 Dec 10 - 12:06 PM
The Sandman 11 Dec 10 - 12:15 PM
Andy Jackson 11 Dec 10 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,Jim Martin 29 Dec 10 - 07:21 AM
Alexis 29 Dec 10 - 08:24 AM
SteveMansfield 29 Dec 10 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,Jim Martin 09 Jan 11 - 05:48 AM
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Subject: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: Rain Dog
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 08:29 AM

I don't think anyone has posted about this yet. Apologies if they have.

Still Folk Dancing ... After All These Years
Friday 10 December
9.00-10.00pm BBC FOUR


Becky and Rachel Unthank explore the folk dance traditions of EnglandYoung Northumbrian folk singers and sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank take a journey around England from spring to autumn 2010 to experience living folk dance traditions in action.

Themselves Northumberland clog dancers, they explore a shared passion for dance that comes from a place, a people or a season and make some moving and unexpected discoveries.

On a journey through the back gardens and narrow streets of towns and villages from Newcastle to Penzance they discover the most surprising dances, ceremonies, rituals and drunken antics that mark the turning of the seasons and the passing of the year.

On their journey, The Unthanks learn about the evolving history of the dances, whether connected to the land and the cycles of fertility, or to working customs and practices in industrial towns. They talk to local historians and visit Cecil Sharp House to explore the 20th-century revival of these dances and their codification through Sharp and others.

There's also extraordinary film archive of the dances through the decades showing that, although the people have changed, the dances have remained often remarkably constant.

The Unthanks are a Mercury-nominated English folk group, but this programme sees the sisters going back to their Northumberland clog dancing roots. Along their travels, they observe and try other English dances including travellers' step dancing in Suffolk, to horn dancing with huge antlers in Abbots Bromley and stick dancing in Oxfordshire.

As the Unthanks complete their journey, they reflect on the curious but vibrant world of local dances which flies in the face of modernisation and sometimes of ridicule, to keep the traditions and the steps alive.

BBC 4 10th December


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: Wheatman
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 08:35 AM

That has got to be one to watch


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: Alan Day
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 08:47 AM

I agree
A must watch !!
Al


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 09:28 AM

"other English dances including travellers' step dancing in Suffolk"

hmmmm....I wonder if that's what the camera at the stepdance day was about?


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: Cats
Date: 22 Nov 10 - 05:26 PM

The trailers for it look really good


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 23 Nov 10 - 11:54 AM

hmmmm....I wonder if that's what the camera at the stepdance day was about?
If you mean the TMD at Stowmarket then yes it was. Clearly you didn't notice Rachel nearby.


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 23 Nov 10 - 11:58 AM

That's what I meant. And...I don't know what she looks like so that would explain it. ;)


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Subject: Come Clog Dancing 11 Dec 2010
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 25 Nov 10 - 11:46 PM

Another programme the following night:-

Come Clog Dancing
Saturday 11 December
7.00-8.00pm BBC FOUR

Conductor and BBC Radio 3 presenter Charles Hazlewood has just two weeks to get Newcastle city centre clog dancing.

There was a time when each district of Britain was defined by its own style of folk music and dance, which grew from industries, landscape and the people who'd settled there. Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire formed the Morris dancing stronghold, while Yorkshire resounded to the dances of longsworders and out-of-work ploughboys entertained East Anglian crowds with their molly dances.

Clog dancing ruled the mill towns of the 19th-century North East and, in this series, Charles's mission is to reclaim the region's national dance and the area's identity by reconnecting the people of Newcastle with their very own cultural and dance heritage.

Made by the creative talents behind The Choir and Faking It, Come Clog Dancing tells of one man's mission to bring a community together through discovering their region's lost heritage of dance, and to stage the biggest clog dancing event the UK has ever seen.


Come Clog Dancing Saturday 11 December 7.00-8.00pm BBC FOUR

Ross


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: johnadams
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 07:05 PM

I've just watched this on the BBC iPlayer. A very enjoyable programme, very well produced and directed by Ellen Hobson.

Given an hour, I would have hoped for a tighter edit to enable the inclusion of Grenoside or Handsworth Londsword, but I guess that they didn't commission the programme early enough to film them last Boxing Day and couldn't delay the programme to file them this Boxing Day. It's a shame because longsword is very important in the makeup of English traditional dance, but nevertheless, a good overview of 'Dancing England'.

Watch it here (if it works in your country).


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 05:41 AM

I wonder (and I certainly don't know) if it is a bit more subtle than that.

First of all not complaints about the programme - I thought folk dancing came across as inclusive, often done by young people, and involved alcohol, which is why I joined all those years ago!

Because this was a Spring/Summer theme, there is now space to do Autumn/Winter - i.e. another full programme.

I suppose we'll know if Rachel and Becky turn up at any events in the next few weeks!


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: Wheatman
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 05:51 AM

Brilliant!! Bring on the Winter events I say


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: GUEST,Dave Eyre
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 05:59 AM

Sorry that guest was me.


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: Folknacious
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 06:12 AM

Yes, the autumn/ winter events, and good revival dance sides, and English ceilidh music & dance . . . there could be a whole series, they've only just scratched the surface. Let's hope the BBC get good feedback reaction to this weekend's ones, the clog one tonight too. The fact that they were scheduled up against what I gather are quite popular bigtime mainstream dross programmes may have helped as there must surely be plenty of people looking for "anything but . . . " and likely to be of a more open minded and questing nature. And then they could build more mini-seasons around re-showing things like the 50th Sidmouth film, the Copper Family story, the Watersons 'Travelling For A Living". Good on BBC4 - time for some positive congratulations in their direction I think, I imagine it never does any harm.


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 06:18 AM

Great programme - just watched it on the iPlayer. The only glitch was seeing that young whippersnapper Alan Day playing concertina for the Stowmarket step dancers...


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: Alan Day
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 06:38 AM

So what was I doing there anyway ?
I only turned up to watch and as there were no musicians I was asked to play for the dancers Luckily. Katie Howson and Rees turned up to help me.
Al (Young Whippersnapper)


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: Alan Day
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 06:47 AM

I thought it was a very enjoyable programme.
What I did find interesting and I know it was only a small cross section of English Traditional Dance, was the increasing domination of the melodion against other instruments. The really old clips featured fiddles. This may be a subject for future discussion.
Al


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: squeezeboxhp
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 06:58 AM

enjoyed the programme and appreciated the fact that the usual ridicule heaped on folkies by presenters was not included, roll on the Winter dancers including the mumming and sword tradition.

if only the Unthank sisters had stuck to clogging and not subjected me to the truly appalling carol singing that followed in the folk Christmas, bring on Ruth & Sadie Price if some good unaccompanied harmony is called for.


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 07:41 AM

I need to catch the repeat on Sunday becasue I dozed off watching the late broadcast last night.
I particularly enjoyed the old black and white clips, and would happily welcome an entire social history program
compiled of the complete archive performances if they still exist.


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: Folknacious
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 07:44 AM

enjoyed the programme and appreciated the fact that the usual ridicule heaped on folkies by presenters was not included

Yes, but . . .

if only the Unthank sisters had stuck to clogging and not subjected me to the truly appalling carol singing

That'd be the usual ridicule heaped upon the Unthanks by Mudcatters, I think? Sadly predictable. Unthanks AND Bellowhead in one programme, bashing guaranteed. Good thing it didn't have SOH too or all your heads would have exploded in apoplexy!

I enjoyed it (other than the presenter). Did last year too. So did my old mum, who usually rejects folk. Asked me to get her Tar Barrel In Dale on CD but it isn't.

The Folk Dance programme was easily the best of the three last night though. The Folk @ The BBC one later was mostly dreadful.


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 08:35 AM

I like the Unthanks dancing - very much so - but I honestly can't help it if their particular way of singing doesn't appeal to me. It's not a political statement, for heaven's sake - whether or Mudcat or elsewhere - it's just a personal dislike.

As far as the Folk at the BBC programme was concerned, I found it very interesting. It was great to see Woody G with Terry & McGhee in the opening credits. Much of the interest came from the period features, like seeing a plummy-voiced Bert Lloyd at the BBC studios. Good to see dear Bob Copper singing in the Kipling Gardens in Rottingdean. The last time I saw him there, he was very old, dressed in a shepherd's smock to open the village summer fair. Jack Elliott was, IMO, only passing fair. Pete Seeger showed a fair 12-string technique, and Peggy Seeger was excellent, as was Bob Davenport. The 1964 clip of Harry Cox was truly wonderful to see, and it was nice to see Martin Carthy in his back garden! Then a trawl back in time with Robin Hall & Jimmy McGregor, Lonnie Donegan and a bit of classical guitar period fun, and music in the Scrubs! Then that famous clip of the young Davy Graham - and so on and so on.

So - as you say - mostly dreadful. Or, perhaps, just personal taste again.


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge on the new computer
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 08:54 AM

I was impressed with how good Robin Hall and Jimmie McGregor were.


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 09:04 AM

Rachel Unthank made some shrewd observations about the way communities change aspects of a dance to suit the times, for instance including women at Abbots Bromley and the way new festivals can become traditional given the backing of the locals.


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: autoharpbob
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 09:16 AM

Really enjoyed the dancing programme, obviously room for more, a lot of dances and sides not touched on, but what was shown was done sympathetically and the sense of family and tradition - and beer - came through very well. Nice one BBC4!


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 09:52 AM

Just caught from June forward. Very good and respectful treatment of the different kinds of dance in my opinion.

I think the Gypsy Roma dancer, Leo Temple has performed at the Essex Record Office during a cultural awareness event. He had a young lad (about 9 or 10) with him also dancing.

I really enjoyed this show and will be watching again online.


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 10:04 AM

The folk dancing programme was a rare example of responsible coverage of the subject. The girls did an excellent job in my opinion, as they asked sensible questions and drew out the points that the participants, rather than the media wished to make. Now, admittedly, there were some pretty weird flights of fancy in some of the answers but once again Rachel and Becky fielded them well and gave the whole programme a grounded and intelligent take on the traditions covered.


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: Folknacious
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 10:05 AM

Good to see dear Bob Copper singing in the Kipling Gardens in Rottingdean
It would have been, but it was John & Jill Copper (his children)


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 10:53 AM

Quite right - I missed the opening credits of that bit and mistook John for Bob - very similar features at a similar age!


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: Marje
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 11:06 AM

I enjoyed it very much. I though they had a good balance of action shots and music against comment and discussion. Of course I'd have liked more of certain things - more about the tunes and instruments used, more about the increasing role played by women in some forms of morris, etc, but there was only an hour available and what they did was done well. I liked the way they gave equal weight to unbroken strands of tradition and to revived or newly created tradtions and customs, stressing that community participation and enjoyment were the important things.

And not a word about Aran sweaters or pewter tankards, although I'm sure some of the latter were in evidence. Good stuff, let's have more like it!


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 11:12 AM

I'm not a great fan of dancing (probably because I'm an uncoordinated lump with at least two left feet). Nevertheless, I thought that the 'Still Folk Dancing' programme was really superb and quite moving - particularly the fact that there appear to be so many young people who are keen to carry on their local traditions (I remember going to Bacup in the 70s and noting the little children imitating the dancers' movements - perhaps some of those kids are now in the side). I also thought that the Traveller step dancers from Suffolk were amazing!

The Unthanks were brilliant and engaging presenters - but that concert with them and Belowhead that followed ... Oh dear! Better just leave it at that!

The programme about 50s/60s folk was interesting but very odd - lots of seemingly disconnected bits - it really needed a linking commentary.


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: LesB
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 11:13 AM

Excellent program. Plenty of scope for vol 2. Hopefully with some Sword dancing.
Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: mikesamwild
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 11:21 AM

I thought it gave a good impression and the links to older archival material showed it in a good light. Thans for people like Doc Rowe!

Interesting how quick stuff becomes an archive like the great Saddleworth stuff, did all 20 year olds have beards at that time ?


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 11:28 AM

Was the concert the same one that was shown last year? If so I quite enjoyed it as a revival of music hall and variety, of which there's almost nothing on any broadcast media.


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 11:42 AM

I watched a bit of the following Christmas Session show. See the other thread for my take.


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 12:06 PM

I'm not a dancer, but I enjoyed the dancing programme. I thought the presentation was a bit amateurish in places and perhaps naive at times, but nothing too important and the Unthanks did generally pretty well. Being dancers themselves obviously helped a lot here.   There were a few hooks for a follow-up programme - the reference to their father sword-dancing for one - but I fear that's wishful thinking.

I was hoping for an evening of folk music, but switched off the following piece early in. I must catch the third on i-player.


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 12:15 PM

" if only the Unthank sisters had stuck to clogging and not subjected me to the truly appalling carol singing that followed in the folk Christmas, bring on Ruth & Sadie Price if some good unaccompanied harmony is called for"
this programme is not available in my area, so I cant pass a judgement on the singning of the Unthanks on this occasion.
I have heard one of them on a previous occasion,and while her voice was pleasant, her diction needed improvement, in fact I could not understand the words of the majority of what she was singing


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 07:22 PM

Oh yes indeedy a truely watchable programme. Seriously treated and comprehensively covered, so far. Now we just need part two to fill in some of the gaps inevitable with only an hour to play with.
As for the show that followed, almost unmentionable. If you recorded it, spool through half way, it's actually quite good once they stop ruining the carols.


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Subject: RE:Come Clog Dancing
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 07:21 AM

It's on again on 2nd Jan:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00wmy5q


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: Alexis
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 08:24 AM

Both very enjoyable programmes. Unfortunately an almost complete disregard for anything other than Ring (type) sides meant that women were a token inclusion in the form of wandering around with some reindeer horns on a bicycle seat in their hands.
I would have thought that women deserved a mention more proportionate with the numbers of dancers in the country.

As said earlier, there was enough missed out to make a volume 2 quite easily.


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 08:24 AM

Cheers Jim - our digibox unilaterally decided it wasn't going to record it the first time it was on!


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Subject: RE: Still Folk Dancing-After All These Years
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 05:48 AM

For anyone who has so far managed to miss it, the prog's on again tonight:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00wgrtr


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