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 9, Number 2, July 1998 edition.

In this issue you will find news on ….

If you're really keen you could also read the Volume 9, Number 1, March 1998 edition.

We’re still here …. Just!!

In our last issue of Grapevine we reported that Monday night numbers had picked up after the lean spell last year. I am pleased to report that that is still the case, particularly so with an injection of new dancers from the beginner’s course. It is good to have some new dancers, so thanks to you all for coming. I hope that you enjoy and continue to enjoy your International Dancing. It is challenging and it does take time so please stick with us. We have a follow-up 8 session course starting on 25 July, the Next Step. That takes us up to 12 September, and on 19 September we have Fiona’s workshops.

We have to find a new dancing location soon as the Cambridge Council have advised us that they are going to close ‘our’ hall at the end of August.

Scout Hall Condemned

As a Group our weekly Monday night sessions have been held in the Wembley/Cambridge Scout Hall for many years. We have known for some time that the site has been earmarked for redevelopment by the council and that the hall was on a low maintenance programme and being run down, but it did come as shock recently to find out that the hall had been condemned. Luckily there was a grace period of 60 days given, so we have until late August to find another hall.

New Hall

The new location for regular Monday night dancing is St Margarets Church Hall on the corner of Elizabeth and Tyrell Streets in Nedlands. The new hall was selected by the Committee after considering a number of options and criteria such as location, the need for a sprung and non-slippery floor, the area for dancing, parking, kitchen and toilet facilities, somewhere safe to store our equipment and availability on a regular basis.

As from 24 August the regular location for Monday night sessions will be at St Margarets Church Hall on the corner of Elizabeth and Tyrell Streets in Nedlands.

Join us at the Wake!!

As 17 August is the last Monday evening that we can use the old Scout hall, we are proposing to have a farewell party, a wake to say goodbye to the hall. So for old times sake come along and give the old girl a good send off!! Wear black or something appropriate to a wake.

Be there and beat the bulldozers!!

the Perth International Folk Dance Group

is having a wake

to farewell the Wembley Scout hall

Jersey St (corner of Salvado Rd)

Monday 17 August 1998

7pm start

Bring your dancing boots and wear black

Bring a plate

Bring your memories

Come and help us say goodbye to the dance hall

The end of an era ----------

No New Name

Well we may soon have a new hall soon but we do not have a new name!

On 20 April at a special General Meeting our Group members voted on the proposal to change the name of the Group. The first step was to select a preferred name to challenge the existing name. We then voted on whether that name, ‘Perth International Dance Group’, selected from the 6 names proposed, should be selected. The new name failed narrowly to get the 75% majority necessary to effect a name change. So we remain the ‘Perth International Folk Dance Group’.

Martin Williams President PIFDG

Surfing and Dancing!

In the last Grapevine we reported that we were considering our options for a Web presence. At that stage we were looking for a Web site to ‘piggy back’ onto. I am pleased to say that thanks to Jenny Currell, one of the regular members of our performance group, we now have our Web page up and running. So if you have Internet access please check us out at:


What we have is a great base that we can build on. It allows us to promote ourselves, provide a calendar of events, give profiles of our teachers, document dances, publish Grapevine, and a whole lot more.

If you have any comments on our Web site, or would like to contribute please e-mail me at:


An Update on Fiona’s Trip to Perth

Preparations are continuing for Fiona Murdoch’s workshops in Perth over the week-end of 19-20 September.

Fiona is an excellent teacher. She taught with the Group for a number of years, and has been sadly missed since she returned to her native New Zealand a few years ago.

In September she will be running non-residential workshops on the Saturday and the Sunday, with a follow up refresher session on the Monday night. There are bound to be some other events for those who attend the workshops, so make sure that you are in it. Details will be available as soon as we have sorted out a location. Not having access to the normal hall has thrown our planning out of kilter somewhat. We had hoped to get an extension on the date for the hall closure and hold the wake in the hall over the September weekend, but the Council has advised us that this is not possible.

We haven’t seen Fiona since 1996 when she was over here for our 20th year celebrations. On that occasion we learnt dances such as Hey Par, Alizut and Vrachos Hassapikos which have become regular dances.

This is an opportunity not to miss!! So get in early and confirm your place. Details will be available soon.

Performance News

Our application to dance at the Fairbridge Folk Festival in April was accepted and we gave two well attended performances. The following week saw us performing at Sorrento Quay Hillarys after being invited to participate in Dance Week.

At the end of May we teamed up with Sara’s Israeli group for a display of dances to the music of the Red Sea Pedestrians. There were two performances, with the first on a Saturday night at Kulcha (the Multicultural Arts Centre of WA (MACWA)). The second performance was on the Sunday at Subiaco Theatre.

The Group is currently rehearsing for a performance on Sunday 26th July which will star two of our youngest members Ben and Monique.

We’d like to express our thanks to all those involved in organising, choreographing and performing.

Beginner’s Course

Many of our new members over recent years have been introduced to International dance by, or have benefited greatly from our beginners’ courses.

This year’s course has recently finished and it was a great success. Held as eight Saturday sessions between 9 May and 4 July the main teachers were John Whaite and Eve Blair with support from Palenqué and Sara and our thanks go to them for their efforts, their interest and their time. The course was well advertised in the Post and Community newspapers and in Perth Weekly, and as a result the sessions were very well attended with almost thirty joining the classes.

If you did not get your copy of the notes for the course covering dances, hand holds, terms etc and you would like a copy please call John. (9444 4736)

So our thanks to all those involved. Ann, who was on the course sent us the following.

Feedback from Ann Riolfo

A big thank you to the teachers of the International Folk Dancing group, John, Eve and Sara.

All of you have put in a wonderful effort for us beginners. Your patience with us was appreciated and made it all look so easy. A big thank you also to John who put together the music for us to practice the dances just learnt, at home.

You made teaching seem casual and without pressure on us beginners and therefore it was fun.

I particularly enjoyed the "Cultures" table that showed the different costumes and artefacts for us to guess their origin.

Like all good things, it was sad that the course had to come to an end, but I am very much looking forward to the next one.

Again, my sincere thanks to the teachers.

Ann Riolfo

The Next Step

Well Ann, you and many others did not have to wait long for the next course which was scheduled to start on 25 July. Running for another 8 weeks this will take us up to 12 September, the week before Fiona’s workshop weekend. Great timing and good planning!

The flyer for this Next Step series of classes is included. If you missed the start it’s not too late to join in! We hope to see you there

A bientot, auf weidersehen, hasta la vista!

Recent Dances

Our thanks to Palenqué for teaching in April and May, and to Sara for teaching in June. You can find the list of dances that they taught on the Mondays page.


In our last issue we listed Tropnalo Oro as being a Romanian dance. This was wrong! Tropnalo Oro is from Macedonia. Who spotted the error? It was one of our truly international contacts, Gabriele Lechner in Germany. Thanks Gabi! We met Gabi and her partner Stefan in Bulgaria last year at Belço’s workshops.

She said that they had learned Tropnalo Oro from Pece Atanasovski, the renowned Macedonian musician, dancer and instructor, who exclusively teaches dances from that region.

I heard from Gabi recently that she and Stefan were going back to Bulgaria this year. Maybe we’ll have some news of their trip to put in a future Grapevine.

Contributions to Grapevine

In the next issues of Grapevine we will continue with our series of articles on the world travels and trips by Group members. If you would like to contribute to this or if you have any other articles of general interest please send them to me, preferably in soft copy.

This month we focus on two reports one from the President one year on from the group trip to Bulgaria and the other from our Treasurer Peter Fallon who recently headed off to America on his bike, well not quite … read on …..

Peter’s Peddles

Major holiday for 1998 was a trip to the southern states of America, with a group of 7 friendly cyclists from CTA WA. This was a 4 week pannier tour from Memphis, Tennessee, along the 450 mile Natchez Trace Parkway, through Alabama and Mississippi. From Natchez we crossed the Mississippi River into Louisiana and continued into New Orleans.

There I had the opportunity to attend the Crescent City International Folk Dance, who meet on Thursdays between 7.45pm and 10.30pm at the First Presbyterian Church Hall, 5401 S. Clairborne Ave, Jefferson, New Orleans. This hall is air-conditioned. On this night, just a small group of 10 very friendly people were covering familiar dances, kept basic, but with slight variations to the steps as we know them, from Israel, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Scandinavia and Hungary. Erev Ba was the same, Miserlou was different, Godecki was similar in structure but different in the forward and back movement. All their tapes have one dance per side, being 5 minute tapes; two people nominate to operate the tapes each month (one is a back-up for the other), and no fee charged for them that month. Tapes are arranged in terms of difficulty ‘Low’, ‘Moderate’ and ‘Hard’. Not many ‘Hard’ tapes. Request are written on a white board and also recorded in a note book. Fee is $4.00, first time free. Often it can be all request evening with no teaching if only a small number attending. They too have a problem with dwindling members (15 is a good night!), sexes were pretty even and some leave early while others arrive later. Announcements were made at half-time, collect money at 10.30pm, then go out for coffee.

On Friday night I attended the Scottish Country Dancing at the Canal St. Presbyterian Church Hall, also air-conditioned. Starting at 7.30pm, a small group, mostly women, gradually increased in size to 16 as the evening progressed. Scottish music was played for people to walk around the room and do stretching exercises once warmed up. It was verbal requests or the instructor just selected a dance. This group also performs at various festivals throughout Louisiana. For me it was fun as dance patterns were all called and I had to do every dance! They wanted me back the next week!.

Freight forwarded bike and camping gear home, then travelled by bus to Norman, Oklahoma, to meet up with Frances and Roger Young. It has been 8 years since they left Perth, and after reading a book on W.A. that I gave them, it is a must return situation! On Monday night we went along to the Oklahoma City International Folk Dancers at the First Unitarian Church Hall, also air-conditioned and with fans. They start with a lesson from 7 to 8pm, have a regular session of dances taught over the previous few months from 8 to 9pm, then requests from 9 to 10pm. This friendly group is similar to us. On this night 32 people were present, but none of their stronger dancers were there, also equal sexes. Dances were similar to what we do, a mixture of easy and difficult ones. Announcements were made at 9pm.

After this I travelled further by bus to Indianapolis, then 48 hours through St. Louis, Tulsa, Albuquerque, Phoenix, to Los Angeles. I had a list of folk dance groups in Indiana and L.A. but was not there on the days they met.

Bulgarian Bash

Pam Massey’s house recently saw a get together of the Group members who went to Bulgaria last year. We were joined by Joan Jenkins and Judith Salom who came up from Bunbury for the occasion. Everyone arrived with their photo albums and it was an opportunity to share views. We also watched a few videos and listened to some music and to some tapes that Pam Gunn had made on location.

Pam M was looking forward to showing us all the movie film that she took, but no sooner had the film started when the globe went. The best laid plans of mice and persons!

It was a shame but really it’s just another excuse to do it all over again!

Thanks to Pam Massey for organising the event!!


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Last Updated July 1998 - Produced by Web in the Hills
Comments? E-mail jenny@webinthehills.com.au