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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Jo Taylor The dreaded dance syndrome (21) RE: The dreaded dance syndrome 14 Dec 99

Auxiris, I'm also in France, in the cultural desert known as Normandy! The traditional music of this area is widely regarded as just history, and gets dragged out at mechouis and the like, where the dancers shuffle around in circles for half an hour then disappear...Not the case in Brittany, where there is a lively and continuing tradition. Bit too far away to nip down for a Saturday night though. However, the other 'dreaded syndrome', the Irish Pub, rears its head here and there is great regard and enthusiasm for Irish music, audiences rarely noticing if you slip in Scottish, English or whatever as well. Sometimes, at our far and few sessions, our Norman members will start to play the Norman tunes - and everyone, young and old, rise as one, link little fingers and shuffle around in circles - after all that's what you do to those tunes!! Norman songs (rather monotonous and interminable), on the other hand are guaranteed to bring the session to a grinding halt and cause the juke box to be switched on.
Everyone else - France is a large country and what applies to one region doesn't necessarily hold in another - regional differences are maybe more pronounced here than in many other countries. Here, in rural Normandy, everyone goes to bed at 9pm so they can be up to milk the cows. Not a joke - we have tried to start sessions in towns around us, saying we'll bring at least 20 or so people, and the bar proprietors answer 'but we close at 8.30'. There are many wonderful things about this country, but many very frustrating elements, too!
Re. Cajun, not a lot of takers here. People won't go to an event unless they know what to expect; non-folkies I've spoken to here have said (if they've heard of it) that's it's old-fashioned, &/or American. Which seems to be an OK thing if it's rock music or McDonald's, but...
There are, around here, several bands doing French Canadian stuff, which is currently very popular, but it takes a while for the word to spread. Meanwhile... no bands playing Irish, great demand, so that's what we're doing (the new band-without-a-name, see previous thread!). Which will be primarily a listening band, though we'll be delighted if dancing happens too. Fiddler's gone to Japan to tour, she's released a CD with a Japanese chap there so work will continue when she returns. Sorry for rambling!

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