MFDS busy visiting in 2018

1918-2018 Hembygdgillet 100 years

report by Mo Robinson

The Manx Folk Dance
 Society had a very special
 invitation to join their friends 
in Malmὃ, Sweden in August
2018. They were also
 joined by The Wayfarers 
from Birmingham an 
Volkstanzgruppe Besse
 from Germany. Our arrival
 in Copenhagen was in a 
localised Thunderstorm, just like the last time we 
visited, well we like to make 
an entrance and warn them 
the Manxies have arrived. There is a short journey, 
approx. 10 minutes by train 
over the Oresund Bridge
 spanning across the waters 
between Denmark and 
Skåne, Sweden. We were
 welcomed by our hosts and
 taken to Scandic St Jὂrgen Hotel which was right in the center of town, and shortly after the other groups arrived, and there was a welcome evening and we had a chance to catch up and chat to all our friends.

The program for the week was action packed, beginning with workshops in Folkets Park, they did say the dancing would be on grass, but unfortunately all the grass had died off because there had been no rain for the last three months, from the stage you could see a cloud of dust rising above, as everyone danced polka, in the blazing sun and heat at 30 degrees, we had a performance in the same park a few days later but in a different area, which was not so dry. As part of the Celebrations we all paraded to The City of Malmὃ Town Hall for a Reception and Dinner, hosted by the Culture Chairman, she gave us a warm welcome and after the meal there was time to have speeches and present gifts, the wooden floor in the Reception hall was highly polished and not suitable for a dance performance, but Joshua Clarkson was allowed to perform the jig in his soft pumps, this was a very special moment for him.

The following day was an excursion day, where we were taken to the East of Skåne, we walked through an apple orchard, and via the woods down to the beach, there was a chance to take 
a swim and the water was amazingly warm in the Baltic Sea. We travelled back via the town 
of Ystad and had some time to take a look around the town. On the last day we had a Church service with high mass, in Limhamns kyrka, there was beautiful music played and singing by the local choir, together with a parade and slow dancing by the Swedish Group, it was an incredible moment and so special it brought a tear to your eye, just to be there and be a part of 100 years celebration. The week was over too quickly, and we hope it will not be too long before we see everyone again, maybe on the Isle of Man, but I think maybe just one group at a time.


Manx Folk Dance Society take a road trip to Wales

report by Mo Robinson

The folk dancers took their 2nd trip in August to visit the Welsh group Tipyn O Bopeth for the Bank Holiday weekend. We stayed in a Gothic Mansion, called Golden Grove, which is a large country house styled in a Tudor/Scottish Baronial style situated in a Deer park called Gelli Aur, in Llandeilo Carmarthenshire.

The house is, at present, undergoing restoration, and it was an experience to stay in and explore, even at one point up into the Bell/clock tower and on to the roof! We did not dance on the roof though – we took the safer option and
 performed at the National Botanical Garden centre, where there is a large domed glass atrium, both groups performed on 3 days to large crowds.

We also danced on one of the evenings at the Golden Grove for the diners, and enjoyed a Home-made Welsh traditional stew made with Leeks and Ham. On the last night we all met in the Village hall for Supper and lots of music and dancing.

A good time was had by all, thanks to Roberta (Bobby) Evans for organising this visit.