Dunedin Dancers

Our 25th International Folk Dance Festival ran from 13 to 20 July 2019

(see the poster)

The Performances:

Dunedin at Stirling Castle

The festival was a success! The weather co-operated, and our visiting groups were great. We performed at the venues listed below:


Sunday 14th July: GLASGOW, Kelvingrove Gallery, 12:30-14:30

Monday 15th July: EDINBURGH, at The Mercat Cross, near St Giles Cathedral, 13:00-14:30

Tuesday 16th July: EDINBURGH, The Grassmarket, 14:00-15:30

at the Church Hill Theatre, Morningside, 19:00

Friday 19th July: ANSTRUTHER
Performed at the Anstruther Harbour festival. Parade at 14:00, performances 15:00-17:00

Saturday 20th July: STIRLING CASTLE 13:30-15:45

General Information

The Hosting groups:

The Edinburgh University New Scotland Country Dance Society (EUNSCDS, or New Scotland to its friends) was formed in 1947 by students at the University of Edinburgh as the New Scotland Society to promote the revived interest in the culture of Scotland.
The emphasis has always been on Scottish dancing, particularly Scottish Country and Highland dancing, and the members frequently perform in and around Edinburgh and travel to competitions across the country.
Dunedin Dancers was formed in 1970 by members of New Scotland who wanted to return the favour to groups they had visited at Folk Festivals around Europe. The first Dunedin Festival was held in 1971, and it has been held every two years since; 2019 is the 25th Dunedin Folk Dance Festival. There is more to Dunedin than the Festival, though. Members dance all forms of Scottish dancing - predominantly Scottish Country dancing, but also Ceilidh dancing, Highland and Scottish Step.

The groups that joined us for the 2019 festival were:

Folk Dance Group Soveldaja   from   Tallinn, Estonia

The Folk Dance Group SOVELDAJA, based at the Tallinn University, was formed during the mid-1980s.
Their repertoire includes folk dances, as well as new choreographed dances.
Since 2006, their instructor has been Helen Reimand, who has also created many of the dances in the group's repertoire.
The group's name SOVELDAJA is derived from the Estonian verb soveldama, which means to create, to arrange, or to design. One of the first dance collectors and creators, Anna Raudkats, used to sign the dances she arranged by writing Soveldanud Anna Raudkats which was how the group got its name.
They practice their dancing skills during weekly rehearsals, as well as at camps, and the group has taken part in several international folklore festivals over the years. They also spend leisure time together: in pubs, at barbeques and just visiting each other - they are like a big family.
rahvatantsuansambel Soveldaja
Les Enfants du Morvan   from   Dijon, in France

The "Groupe D'Arts et de Traditions Populaires" Les Enfants du Morvan was formed in 1946 to preserve the Folk Arts and Traditions of the Morvan region, which is a hilly area in the very heart of Burgundy; in the North East of the Massif Central in France. The group's founders were people from the Morvan who moved to work in nearby Dijon, capital of the Bourgogne.
They have around 60 active members, who practice and promote the traditional dance, music, songs and costumes of their area. Their dance repertoire contains lots of Bourrees, but also branles, polkas, scottishes, mazurkas and waltzes.
They only use traditional instruments: hury-gurdy, pipes, diatonic accordeons and fiddles; singing is also important in their tradition.
Les Enfants Du Morvan

During this festival, we were also joined by two Edinburgh based International Folk Dance groups:
Traditional Irish Dance Group   'Absolutely Legless'

Absolutely Legless brings traditional Irish music, song and dance alive. The group was formed in Edinburgh in 1997 by experienced dancers and musicians and has developed a reputation for vibrant and innovative performances. Drawing on the Irish hard and soft shoe traditions, their dances combine grace and rhythmic power to provide an exhilarating experience. The live band play new arrangements of traditional and original airs, songs, jigs and reels. The dancers are a mix of experienced (including world champions) to new adult learners who combine to entertain audiences every time. Over the years, Absolutely Legless has performed around the UK, at numerous festivals throughout Europe (including France, Spain and Croatia) and in the USA and beyond. Recently they travelled to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates to take part in the Heritage Days festival - in conjunction with the Balbir Singh Dance Company - presenting a number of traditional and fusion pieces with the Indian dance troupe - appearing live on national TV there.
Traditional Irish Dance Group Absolutely Legless
Polish Dance Ensemble 'Ojczyzna'
Polish Dance Ensemble 'Ojczyzna' is being led by Stefan Boron - artistic director of a Polish Song and Dance Ensemble Ojczyzna which existed in Edinburgh for over 30 years. Now as a part of Polish Cultural Festival Association project they are aiming to promote Polish dance in Scotland and beyond. Polish Dance Ensemble 'Ojczyzna' was set up in May 2014 as a part of the Polish Scottish Heritage Festival Project - Ceilidh with a Polish Twist as a pilot project to continue dancing in a spirit and tradition of the former Ojczyzna Group.
During the early years of the Dunedin Festival, Dunedin Dancers had many contacts with Ojczyzna, and we are glad to pick up the thread and renew our friendship!
Polish Dance Ensemble Ojczyzna

Support the Festival

Dunedin Dancers is an amateur group financed mainly through money raised from our own membership, from the income of our demonstration dancing, and a few donations from well wishers.
  This year we have been fortunate to secure a small grant from Tasgadh (Small grants for Traditional Arts), a fund devolved from Creative Scotland and managed by Fèisean nan Gàidheal. This will cover less than 5% of the festival costs.
  We would be very grateful if you would support or continue to support our festival by making a donation online using a credit or debit card via PayPal.

Scottish Charity Number SC011896

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