Our 17th annual HFAA Annual Workshops are bigger and better than
ever. Our expanded roster of teachers and extended sessions guarantee
that dancers, fiddlers and luthiers will have the most intensive,
satisfying learning experience of the year 2000. Come and share an
environment with us that has been called "the warmest and most supportive
in North America"! Information and downloadable
registration forms can be found on this page.
Members of Norway's Hardanger Fiddle Project (HFP) will be here on a grant from the Norwegian government to research older hardingfeler (Hardanger fiddles) in America and lend their expertise.
Leikny Aasen and Vidar Underseth from Ålesund in western Norway are not only prize-winning dancers but also performers on the hardingfele and regular fiddle. Vidar was born in Solund, an island community in outer Sognefjord. Vidar (partnered with Hilde Bjørkum) has won the Landskappleik three times dancing the parhalling, the first of which (in 1989) included the Kongepokal (King's Trophy). Vidar and Leikny have also placed in the upper ranks of Class A dance at the Landskappleik with the Springar from Solund. Vidar is a full-time musician/dancer, both in Sogn og Fjordane and Møre og Romsdal provinces. He is also the leader of the Ålesund Spelemannslag. Leikny was born in Bergen and began playing hardingfele as a child, focusing on the traditions of Sogn og Fjordane. She has won the district competition in Møre og Romsdal several times, and has been working seriously with old traditional music from Sunnmøre. Leikny and Vidar have had many years of teaching experience in music and dance;Vidar is one of the most sought-after dance teachers in Western Norway. Besides teaching the Springar from Solund and the rull from their area, they will be teaching reinlender, springpolka, masurka, skotsk, pariserpolka, and other couple dances from Sogn, Sunnmøre and Nordfjord. Leikny and Vidar taught at the San Francisco-area Skandia Festival in 1992, and in 1996 they performed together with the Ålesund Spelemannslag at the Nordic Fest in Decorah, and taught at workshops in Minneapolis and Seattle. Vidar has also taught at the Fall Scandinavian Weekend at Buffalo Gap Camp in West Virginia.
We are proud to present Håkon H¿gemo from ¯vre rdal in Sogn, teaching for the first time in the USA. Håkon is one of the foremost fiddlers in Norway today, and plays and teaches the traditions of Sogn, Voss, and Hardanger. He has won the Landskappleik (the Norwegian national folk music and dance competition) twice, in 1989 and 1995. He has performed at the Olympic Games in the U.S. and in Nagano, Japan, as well as touring in the U.S., Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Czechoslovakia and England. Håkon has performed with the group UTLA (with Terje Isungset and Karl Seglem) since 1992; their recording, "UTLA", was nominated for the Spelemannsprisen (the Norwegian Grammy award). Håkon is known not only for his sensitive musicianship and ravishing tone, but also for his excellent teaching skills. He has taught hardingfele at the Ole Bull Academy in Voss since 1993, and at the Osterøy community music school since 1994. In 1999, he received a state stipend for his work in performing and teaching.
Vidar Lande is recognized not only as one of the best hardingfele players in Norway, but as a dedicated researcher and collector who has accumulated a vast store of tunes and knowledge from his home area of Bygland in central Setesdal and from Telemark and other hardingfele areas. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the hardingfele tradition, combined with an exceptional ability to analyze differences in playing styles and traditions. Some of you may remember Vidar from his appearances in the 1970s on the Prairie Home Companion, and he was the teacher at the very first HFAA Annual Workshops in 1984 and again in 1999. Vidar is in high demand in Norway both as a concert performer and as a judge in fiddling competitions. He has produced at least two CDs and several cassettes of his playing, and was also featured on the CD, "Norway: Fiddle Music from Agder," from the UNESCO Collection of Musics and Musicians of the World. He is the author of two landmark collections of hardingfele transcriptions, "Slåttar og Spelemenn i Bygland", and "Otto Furholt - Slåttar".
Bill Boyd, from Seattle, Washington, began playing the hardingfele in 1983. He has been a musician for Leikarringen in Seattle since then, and regularly plays for dances in the Seattle area. He is most experienced with the hardingfele traditions of Telemark and with gamaldans (vals, reinlender, polka, etc.). He has taught often at the Norsk Stemne in Seattle, and at the Nordahl Greig Leikarring's Camp Norge Stemne (Alta, CA) weekend three times, as well as at local Seattle weekend events.
Sarah Kirton, from the San Francisco Bay area, has been playing Scandinavian fiddle music since 1983, beginning with Swedish polskor on regular violin. She's been teaching Scandinavian fiddle playing in the San Francisco Bay area since early 1986. Sarah began serious study of the hardingfele in 1989, and spent a year and a half in Valdres studying with Olav J¿rgen Hegge and Harald R¿ine during the years 1996-1998. She also plays some music in the Telemark tradition. She plays regularly for SF Bay area dances on both violin and hardingfele. Sarah also plays with the Scandinavian band "Nattergal," founded in 1991.
The featured instructor in hardingfele construction will be Ron Poast, from Black Earth, Wisconsin. He has been making instruments for 26 years and Hardanger fiddles for 14 years. Recently Ron was nominated for a National Living Treasure Award by the governor of Wisconsin. His instruments have been featured in several important exhibitions, most notably in the summer of 1998 where he appeared in the Wisconsin exhibit at the American Folklife Festival on the mall in Washington D.C., demonstrating his art to tens of thousands of spectators. He has also exhibited at the Vesterheim Museum in Decorah, Iowa, at the Wisconsin Folklife Festival in Madison, and with a touring exhibition of Wisconsin folk art organized by Wisconsin's John M. Kohler Arts Center. In 19998, Ron received a grant from the North Dakota Arts Board to give private instruction in hardingfele making. He has been a regular staff teacher at the HFAA Stevne, and his instruments are in high demand, especially among HFAA members--he now has a waiting list several years long.
Mikkel Thompson of San Jose, CA, has been dancing all his life. He learned gammaldans (waltz, reinlander) through family tradition, growing up in northern Minnesota. He started dancing other types of folk dances in the early 1980s and began dancing springar and gangar in 1985. Mikkel has been the Artistic Director of the Nordahl Grieg Leikarring (40 active members) and Barneleikkaring (40 active members) since 1985. The Leikarring has performed at the prestigious San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival multiple times, danced for the King and Queen of Norway and is regularly featured at every major local Norwegian event. Mikkel also plays torader and accordion with the Nordahl Grieg Spelemannslag. In addition, he teaches three classes a week in the Bay area, and dances with Red Thistle, the Bay area's internationally recognized Scottish dance performance group. Mikkel has traveled to Norway five times to study dance, and has learned from Karin Brennesvik and Olav Sem, among many others. He began to learn the Setesdalganger in 1988-89 and has studied the dance in Setesdal.
PRE-WORKSHOP WARM-UP, Thursday, August 17, 1:00-5:00 p.m. This optional session includes reviews of last year's teaching, private hardingfele lessons, and beginner's dance and hardingfele workshops. Get a head start! Especially recommended for beginners in hardingfele or Norwegian dance.
REGULAR WORKSHOP SESSIONS, Friday and Saturday, August 18Ð19, 9:00 a.m.Ð5:00 p.m. both days.The regular workshop sessions begin on Friday morning, and conclude with the banquet, concert and party on Saturday evening. There are approximately six hours of instruction per day. Our instructors will try to accommodate Saturday-only enrollees; however, we highly recommend that students attend both Friday and Saturday, as Saturday's teaching builds on FridayÕs lessons.
POST-WORKSHOP REVIEW, Sunday, August 20, 10:00 a.m.Ð1:00 p.m. . This optional session includes a review of workshop lessons for fiddlers and dancers, with private problem-solving sessions. Get personal advice on how to maximize your learning experience.
NOTE: The hardingfele, dance, and hardingfele construction classes are taught concurrently. If a student desires to take classes in both fiddling and dancing, it is recommended that the student sign up for fiddling on Friday and dancing on Saturday.
The HFAA does not set any gender limitations or previous dance experience pre-requisites for our dance workshops. All are welcome to come and learn the HFAA way! Dance students will have the opportunity to dance to live fiddle music and learn more about it. Individual instruction will be offered tailored to both beginning and experienced dancers. Also included are special lectures on dance traditions, videotapes, and question and answer sessions.
All hardingfele classes are small, with lots of opportunity for individual attention. You need not have played hardingfele or Scandinavian fiddle before, but you should have some solid fiddling skills. It helps to have some degree of proficiency in learning by ear, although this is not a requirementÐsome written music will be available. Fiddlers who would like to try hardingfele but do not have an instrument are welcome. See the information on the HFAAÕs Fiddle Loan Program in the registration information.
This course, the only one in North America, will look at some selected aspects of hardingfele construction. The construction class lasts all day on Friday and Saturday (no Thursday session), and includes the Sunday morning 10:00Ð1:00 session. No part-time enrollees are allowed. There will be opportunity for hands-on practice with carving, inlay and ink drawing. The cost of supplies is included in the registration fee. Registrants are encouraged to buy and review Sverre Sandvik's book, Vi byggjer hardingfele, before the workshop. The text is in Norwegian, but the book contains copious photographs and full-sized fold-out patterns for the instruments and the rosing decorations.
Our staff will present lectures and demonstrations on a number of aspects of Norwegian folk music and dance during the workshops. Private 20-minute coaching sessions with the teachers are scheduled throughout the weekend to help participants solve individual fiddling problems. Evenings include dance parties with live music, and Saturday evening includes a festive banquet and concert with Workshop staff members..
Non-Participants and Children are most welcome at HFAA! Advanced registration is required for all. The Non-Participant category includes anyone over age 14 who would like to observe the workshops and/or family members or friends who may wish to accompany an active participant. A small fee is charged and meal options are available. As music and dance are activities for children "of all ages", so no special children's program is planned and there are no childcare facilities available. Children may participate in the regular HFAA Workshop activities or parents should be prepared to watch their children and/or take turns doing so with others. The fee for children ages 5Ð14 is approximately 40% of the adult participantÕs fee. Children under age five may attend at no charge.
We will be returning to our beautiful location at the Folklore Village Farm, located seven miles east of Dodgeville, Wisconsin, about a hour's drive west of Madison. Located in a peaceful rural setting, we will have the opportunity to learn new tunes, receive individualized instruction, ask questions, visit, share stories, and dance. All of the activities will take place in the air-conditioned and spacious music and dance facility with a great dance floor and many classrooms on the lower floor.
Information on meal plans can be found in the Registration Information. The Folklore Village cooks have had extensive experience preparing sumptuous Scandinavian smorgasbords and desserts, and we will be treated to a Norwegian feast Saturday night at our festive banquet.
There are two options available at Folklore Village.