buttons image map The Perth International Folk Dance Group produces the "Grapevine" newsletter for present and past members several times per year.

Below is the content of the Volume 12, Number 1, July - August 2000 edition.
In this issue you will find news on ….

If you're really keen you can also read earlier editions:

Editorial - from Martin Williams, President
In this issue of Grapevine, our first for 2000, you'll find news of André's forthcoming workshops, more tales from across the Tasman, and two articles from Laurel de Vietri. Laurel's articles cover a French performance with Les Enfant de Provence, which featured some dancers from Perth International Folk Dance Group, and an invitation to the next joint event to be held at Kulcha in Fremantle.

What's on:

  • Greek night - 31st July at St Margaret's Hall
  • Beginner's course 2000 - starts 5 August. See flyer
  • André van de Plas - workshops 19th and 20th August, Uniting Church Hall, Willis St, Mosman Park. See flyer
  • Next performance - Forrest Place on 9 September as part of the WA Multicultural Week.
  • Fiesta Kulcha Joint performance with 'Les Enfants de Provence'; Sunday, Sept 24th, 2000

    2001 a Dance Odyssey!!
    Next year is PIFDG's twenty-fifth year, and we are planning to have another celebration year in much the same way that we celebrated the 20th year back in 1996. Nothing is planned as yet but we are hoping that Belcho Stanev will be in Perth in May to set the scene. If you have any ideas for next year please let us know, or better still join the Committee and help us to plan something special.

    André van de Plas is coming again!
    (don't even THINK It John!)

    This is about André's 4th or 5th visit to Perth from Holland - where else with a name like 'van de '! This time he's working his tour in with the Olympics, but hopefully he won't be attempting any dance marathons with us!

    André teaches a wonderful selection of dances from many countries, with a well-planned balance of moderately easy dances to the more complicated and with a variety of styles from different countries.

    Our repertoire grows and we become ever more international as he teaches the same dances with other groups around the world. It's a bit like Ti Chi - whichever group you go to you'll know the moves!

    There will be four workshops, Saturday am and pm, and Sunday am and pm, with Sunday afternoon being mostly revision. Andre has confirmed that he will also be with us on the Monday evening following the workshops.

    Lunch times are a time to relax and put your feet up. These social times are always good 'bonding' time, which is especially valuable for new members!

    Saturday evening we traditionally have a party. Everyone brings a main meal - sweet or savory - dish to share, and it's a veritable feast!! Then we dance 'til we drop, then we drag ourselves back on the Sunday for more!

    It will be a good week-end. Please try to be there! It will increase your dance skills, your repertoire and your social contacts!!

    by Pam Massey

    André's Biograhy
    For those of you who may not have met up with André, we have included a profile …

    André van de Plas is a professional folkdance teacher and choreographer from the Netherlands. He has taught international dance for the last twenty years, both in Holland and abroad. He works with different age groups covering all levels from beginners to highly advanced.

    He specialises in dances from Romania and Hungary and in children's dances, which has been particularly useful in his job as a primary school teacher. He is the principal teacher of the Phoenix Folkdance Ensemble in Apeldoorn and has set up school projects for the highly acclaimed professional Folkloric Dance Theatre in Amsterdam. He has also been actively involved in training programs for folkdance teachers in the Netherlands.

    Outside Holland he has taught in Germany, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Taiwan and Hong-Kong. He has also toured extensively in Australia where he has conducted many workshops for schoolteachers, schoolchildren, recreational groups and has been guest teacher at many conferences. He has been a regular visitor to Perth where André and his dances have a big following.

    Above all, André believes that the process of learning to dance should be fun at all levels, at all times, and for everyone. As such the focus is not so much on how to perfect certain steps but rather to dance to the music and relate to the cultural and social aspects of dance.

    André's here on the Monday night too
    Please don't forget that not only is André with us for the four sessions over the week-end of the 19th and 20th August, but he will also be staying in Perth for a bit longer this year. He will our guest teacher on 21st August, that is on the Monday night at St Margaret's Hall in Nedlands to give us that extra bit of tuition. So if you want to make the most of that session you really will have to attend the workshops or you will be really lost!!

    A 'thank you' to PIFDG Members' from Laurel de Vietri
    My group 'Les Enfants de Provence' was invited to perform at L'Alliance Francaise de Perth in December 1999 for their end of year celebration. Our performance was very successful and very well received thanks to the participation of four PIFDG members, Marcia. Gisela, Tony and Graham. Dressed in Provençal costume, they blended in very well with the other members of the group and impressed the audience with their confident dancing which was the result of quite a few extra rehearsals on their part.

    We performed some of the dances I'd been teaching on Monday nights; le Rigaudon du Dauphiné, La Troika du Champsaur, and La Gavotte du Béarn. The audience loved particularly our bourrée, Le Tournant des Grandes Poteries. We asked for audience participation for La Chapeloise and la Farandole and the French were only too glad to join in with a lot of enthusiasm and laughter.

    We have been asked to return at the end of this year (see below) and have been requested to do more dances in which the audience can participate. This is quite easily done with dancers like Marcia, Gisela, Tony and Graham and my own two children, Gabrielle and Raphaël, who know the dances very well and can make a non-dancer partner feel at ease. I hope some members of PIFDG will be able to help me out again in December this year as it is a time when many of my dancers who are all students are away with family. Pam Massey and Leone came along and watched and ended up joining in the dancing as well and it all went towards making the soirée very enjoyable for everyone.

    Invitation to take part in French day at Kulcha
    Kulcha is putting on a year of music and dance festivals this year under the name of Fiesta Kultura. These will culminate in the Festival of Fremantle in November.

    Each group which is presenting a "pena" during the year has been given a grant by Carmen Lawrence's office. This grant is to be used for publicising and advertising the event, and for costumes, documentation, venue hire, equipment hire etc.

    'Les Enfants de Provence' has been asked to put on a pena on Sunday, Sept 24th, 2000. This will be at Kulcha in Fremantle and will take the form of a workshop/performance over a couple of hours with a break in the middle for drinks and nibbles. The manager of the company Maison Provençale will be selling Provençal goods (tablecloths, bed and bath linen etc and bottled and packaged foodstuffs) and rooms will be decorated in French style.

    My plan is for the Group to perform a small number of more showy dances interspersed with dances for audience participation - dances which are easy to learn and fun to do. I am hoping that Russell Johnsen and some of his friends can provide music for this event.

    I hope that members of PIFDG will come along and support us by watching and participating. I would also love to have some of you performing with us and assisting in the demonstration of the dances which the public will be learning. This would involve a costume fitting and attending rehearsals to learn the dances during August and September, probably one a week. Please let me know if you are interested by seeing me on a Monday night or by phoning 9448 8179.

    Many Thanks, Laurel

    World-wide Wanderers

    As usual we have some of the group overseas. Just off the top - the ones I know about:

  • Laurel is in France attending the Bal de l'Europe at Gennetines in France
  • Gisela is in Europe, returning at the end of Oct.
  • Tony Hoar is sailing back from Nounea.
  • Pam Gunn en route to the Sabor in Koprivstitsa, Bulgaria.
  • And Louise and Laurie are still in the Hunza Valley area north of Islamabad in Pakistan.

    Tasman Trips and Hobart Hops

    Over the Christmas / New Year period I went to "Under Down Under" for a refreshing break - from both the commercial hype as well as the hot temperatures in WA - and simply for a change of scenery. It was incidental that I would see the sun rise earlier than in Perth on 01 01 2000!!

    Mountains in stead of sandhills, rain-forest instead of seagrass, that's what attracted me.

    My frequent-flyer points landed me in Launceston from where I launched my travels using route buses and sheltering in 'youth' hostels and 'backpackers' along the way. Not the fastest and most convenient of travel and a lot was missed along the wayside, yet lots too was discovered and seen - at a comfortable, relaxed pace.

    Highlights included a boat trip on the Gordon River, harbour cruises, exploring rain-forests, climbing Cradle Mountain (1545 m) and lots of walking everywhere, with the occasional short cycle ride.

    But along with the hiking boots came the 'dancing shoes'!!

    Thanks to John Whaite contact was established via e-mail with a Folkdance Group in Hobart who sent me some information. It worked out that I visited them on a Thursday night, their last dance of the month, of the year, of the century, of the …..Anyway, St Peter's Hall in Sandy Bay is where we met that night at 8-o'clock. About 30 people came, quite well mixed, and a couple of children were there too.

    A tape selection - less extensive and bewildering than our resources - included mainly Israeli, Mediterranean, Eastern and Northern European dances, with some local Folktunes thrown in. There was no board for requests, dances being selected by various participants as the evening went along. There was no formal teaching as such but quick revision sessions of steps if deemed necessary, or if it was a partner dance.

    A customary final circle dance concluded the evening at about 10-pm - as requested by the neighbouring residents. On this night there was also a birthday to be acknowledged. The person sat in the middle on the floor and the lights were dimmed. Again a special circle dance was done around her, this was rather special and quite beautiful.

    The Group was very friendly and I enjoyed the Trans-Tasman Folk Connection as part of my travel experience. Visitors to the Group are welcome any time and I in turn extended a welcome to any visitor or potential members of our Group here. At least one lady is seriously considering moving to Perth already!

    Further information: Peter and Krista Sands Ph 6227-8471 ot Graeme Ph 6239-1553.

    The above was filed by Gisela Gmeinder just before she headed off to Europe for her next holiday! Gisela also included a photo taken from the top of Cradle Mountain and sent us the following which was found at the Visitor Centre, Lake St. Clair National Park, Tasmania.

    We have just heard from Gisela. You can contact her via her email gogisela@hotmail.com She leaves Germany on the 1st September, heading for Canada, then Fiji and NZ. Returning to Perth she will have a 5-day stopover in Auckland and hopes to get in some dancing during that time.

    Why do we go to the Wilderness?

    We need goals around which to build our adventures, but it is the experience that is adventure's greatest reward. If we lose ourselves in the single-minded pursuit of a goal, we don't see the wood or the trees, only images of ourselves achieving our goal. The experience becomes an obstacle to be got through, rather than the incredible journey it often is.

    And when a goal is achieved in this way, the satisfaction is of the ego and not of the spirit - and the former is a far more shallow reward. The subtle and deep rewards of the wilderness can be missed entirely if we focus on being first, or fastest, or the most widely publicised.

    These are exploitative goals rooted in another time and place.

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    Last Updated August 2000 - Produced by Web in the Hills
    Comments? E-mail jenny@webinthehills.com.au