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2017 Hardanger Fiddle Music and Dance Workshop

Features the traditional music and dance of Hallingdal, Norway

July 20-23, 2017
Folklore Village, Dodgeville, WI


The HFAA's Annual Workshop offers a very special opportunity for getting to know Norwegian Hardanger fiddle music and dance traditions in depth. We are dedicated to both nurturing beginners and providing challenges for the more advanced. We invite you to come and join us in an environment that has been called "the warmest and most supportive in North America."

The Hardanger fiddle music from Hallingdal is highly ornamented and very playful. The musicians in this deep valley created tunes influenced by the neighboring districts of Telemark, Valdres and Numedal. The tunes have an ecstatic, commanding quality that beckons fiddlers to their cases and dancers to their feet. The hallingspringar dance has elements to please all kinds of dancers: fast spins, elegant slow twirls, waltz-like sections and couple turns. There are opportunities for those dancing the lead part to show off acrobatic moves or.....stylishly abstain. The 3-beat springar rhythm is more even in Hallingdal than in other hardingfele traditions, with a lilting, almost playful feel. The music has a bubbly, driving energy just under the surface, waiting for the dancer to take it to its full potential. This exciting dance is very accessible to the first-time learner and is captivating to all levels of musicians and dancers.

Hardanger fiddle (hardingfele) classes: We offer four concurrent full-time classes to accommodate all levels from beginner to advanced, teaching a variety of Norwegian hardingfele traditions. Private sessions with our teachers are also available. Loaner instruments are available on advance request. Even if you have never tried the hardingfele before, you are welcome to join us!

Dance classes: This is a rare opportunity for dancers of all levels (whether children or adults, beginners, intermediate or advanced) to learn how to listen to the music, relate to the fiddler and partner and build a wonderful dance.

Mini-classes: Kveding (traditional Norwegian singing) classes offer you a chance to broaden your Norwegian folk music experience. Sometimes mini-classes are offered in other Norwegian folk music instruments such as seljefløyte (willow flute) and munnharpe (jaw harp).

Need to borrow a hardingfele? Can you lend us a hardingfele? The HFAA's unique Hardingfele Loan Program allows students who do not have a hardingfele to borrow one for use during the workshop. Read more about this program here. If you have a hardingfele that you are willing to lend, please indicate that on the registration form or, if you are not attending the workshop, write to president@hfaa.org to arrange for safe travel for your instrument.

Children and teens: Children and teens are welcome, as HFAA endeavors to promote the appreciation of traditional music and dance among younger generations! Children who have the ability to participate in music and dance activities may attend the classes. There are no childcare facilities available, so parents should be prepared to watch their children and work cooperatively with other parents. Advance registration is required for all children. Teenagers are welcome to attend without a parent, but they must have an adult chaperone. To make arrangements, please contact the Workshop Chair at workshopchair@hfaa.org.

Folklore Village is the setting for all workshop activities. Located on the edge of a restored prairie 35 minutes west of Madison, Wisconsin, Folklore Village offers a perfect venue for hardingfele and dance classes, concerts, lectures, and dance parties. Beautiful, air-conditioned Farwell Hall includes a spacious sprung wood dance floor and separate classrooms for fiddle instruction. Across the road, Plum Grove Church (1882) offers excellent acoustics for small lectures or classes. Bunkhouses offer simple accommodations, as does the tenting area. For those who want more privacy or air conditioning, there are motels nearby in Dodgeville.