1. Just a few more days now until Vaka 2017 in Akureyri! I’ll be there the whole week, and will be teaching some tunes and dances with Wilma and Benjamin on Thursday. There are still tickets available!

  2. Barnaby Walters: Event: Tanzimpro/Balfolk Workshop in Múltí Kúltí https://waterpigs.co.uk/img/kreistanz.jpeg When: Saturday the 26th of March 15:00 until 18:00 Where: Múltí Kúltí, Barónsstígur 3, Reykjavík What: Tanzimpro (“Traditional European Dance-improvisation, also known as “balfolk” or “eurodance”) is a form of music and dance which has evolved all over Europe for centuries, and continues to do so today. Casting aside the nationalism, gender roles and silly costumes so commonly associated with “folk dance”, tanzimpro focuses on the intense, flowing connection between dancers, music and musicians as everyone involved improvises and reacts to each other. If that sounds like fun, come along and learn the basic grooves for a variety of common dances (wickler/slängpolska, schottisch, polka, waltz, mazurka, polska… if we have time!) as well as techniques for building connection with your partner and the music, and ideas for improvisation and variations. No need to bring a dance partner along if you don’t have one, you’ll probably end up dancing with everyone anyway :) Entry is free, donations for the musicians and dance leader are gladly accepted. Who: Barnaby Walters (Hodgepig, Buzz, Duo Gerhardt & Walters) is a hurdy gurdy player and builder who, after spending ten years playing various folk and traditional music, discovered tanzimpro two years ago and wondered what he had been doing with his life for the previous eight years. Trying to make up for lost time, he has since danced and played for dancing in Iceland, Turkey, France, England, Germany and Austria, most recently as half of Duo Gerhardt & Walters. Benjamin Bech (Bech and Bomholt, PÚLK, Vildspil, Tyrolerband) is an excellent dancer and clarinet player from Denmark, currently researching Icelandic traditional dance music.

    Thanks to everyone who came to the workshop on Saturday! It was great fun to dance with you all, and to get some international perspectives on polka traditions :) I hope you all had as good a time as I did!

    If you missed it, didn’t hear about it or want to do it all over again, we’ll be running a similar workshop at this year’s Vaka festival in Akureyri (15th-18th June), and there’ll be all sorts of other nice stuff going on too.

    Until then, keep up the nice music and dancing in Reykjavík, I’m looking forward to being back :)

    P.S. if anyone took photos, it’d be great to have copies — posted here is fine, emailed in high resolution to barnaby@waterpigs.co.uk is even better!

  3. Event: Tanzimpro/Balfolk Workshop in Múltí Kúltí

    When: Saturday the 26th of March 15:00 until 18:00

    Where: Múltí Kúltí, Barónsstígur 3, Reykjavík

    What:

    Tanzimpro (“Traditional European Dance-improvisation, also known as “balfolk” or “eurodance”) is a form of music and dance which has evolved all over Europe for centuries, and continues to do so today. Casting aside the nationalism, gender roles and silly costumes so commonly associated with “folk dance”, tanzimpro focuses on the intense, flowing connection between dancers, music and musicians as everyone involved improvises and reacts to each other.

    If that sounds like fun, come along and learn the basic grooves for a variety of common dances (wickler/slängpolska, schottisch, polka, waltz, mazurka, polska… if we have time!) as well as techniques for building connection with your partner and the music, and ideas for improvisation and variations.

    No need to bring a dance partner along if you don’t have one, you’ll probably end up dancing with everyone anyway :)

    Entry is free, donations for the musicians and dance leader are gladly accepted.

    Who:

    Barnaby Walters (Hodgepig, Buzz, Duo Gerhardt & Walters) is a hurdy gurdy player and builder who, after spending ten years playing various folk and traditional music, discovered tanzimpro two years ago and wondered what he had been doing with his life for the previous eight years. Trying to make up for lost time, he has since danced and played for dancing in Iceland, Turkey, France, England, Germany and Austria, most recently as half of Duo Gerhardt & Walters.

    Benjamin Bech (Bech and Bomholt, PÚLK, Vildspil, Tyrolerband) is an excellent dancer and clarinet player from Denmark, currently researching Icelandic traditional dance music.

  4. Iceland treated me to some of the best views I’ve ever had of Hvalfjörður and Reykjavík on the flight out this morning, before the UK tried to bake me. Nice to be home after a long day traveling.

  5. Video: Erik and Anna from Dråm playing some of the Swedish dance tunes they taught in their workshop at Vaka in Akureyri:

  6. Spent this morning doing maintenance work on this very old hurdy gurdy with a very interesting history, which I shall be writing more about soon:

  7. Spent this morning meeting a very interesting old hurdy gurdy owned by some very interesting people. Tomorrow we’re off to find a lathe with which to fix it.

  8. Back in Reykjavík after the thoroughly enjoyable Vaka festival! Many new friends made, tunes and dances learned. Thanks to everyone involved for putting on such a great event!

    Now to catch up on four days of no German practice…

  9. Last minute reminder: VAKA is in Akureyri from this Wednesday! Join us for four days of Northern European folk music, dancing, workshops and crafts.

  10. Went to my first climbing tournament at Klífurhúsið today. I was worried it was going to be all competitive and difficult, but it was loads of fun, with a surprising number of easy-to-somewhat-challenging (for me, approx. V2) routes. Finished with 62/220 points, looking forward to improving on that at the next one!