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2018 Hardanger Fiddle Music and Dance Workshop

Features the traditional music and dance of the Hardangerfjord region of Norway

July 19-22, 2018
Folklore Village, Dodgeville, Wisconsin

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 HFAA is proud to present, for the first time in the US, the outstanding dance and music traditions of the Hardangerfjord area of Norway. Additionally, we are extremely proud to present for the first time at HFAA the preeminent hardingfele master Knut, renowned both in Norway and abroad for his concerts and recordings and highly esteemed for his teaching. Accompanying him will be two of the most important teachers of the Hardangerfjord dance tradition, Per Øyvind and Brit. 

The region around Hardangerfjord, located on Norway’s west coast southeast of Bergen, is said to be the birthplace of the Hardanger fiddle and lent its name to the instrument. This region may possibly have the longest continuous tradition of hardingfele playing. The "Jaastad Fiddle", a hardingfele crafted by Ole Jensen Jaastad of Ullensvang in Hardanger, is dated 1651 (although this date is disputed). The father-son team of Isak and Trond Botnen from Kvam in Hardanger made reportedly over a thousand hardingfeler, in what could have been one of the earliest examples of mass production of musical instruments, during the late 1600’s and throughout the 1700’s. This availability of good instruments caused the hardingfele tradition of Hardangerfjord to flourish.

In addition to our Norwegian staff, our experienced staff of North American hardingfele teachers--Vidar Skrede, Andrea Een, Loretta Kelley, and Laura Thompson--will present the traditions from various hardingfele areas of Norway at the beginner and intermediate levels. We also offer beginner mentoring led by Eden Ehm for those who have not played hardingfele before, or who need extra help. As always we also offer one-hour classes in Norwegian traditional singing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, this year taught by Arna Rennan of Duluth, a Norwegian-American who spent many years in Norway and who has a deep grounding in its vocal traditions.

Come to HFAA 2018 and experience the excitement and inspiration of four days of intensive immersion!

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.