2006 Hardanger Fiddle Music and Dance Workshop

Folklore Village, Dodgeville, WI, July 20 - 23

Our 23rd annual HFAA Workshop and Meeting returned to Folklore Village Farm in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. Set on the edge of a restored prairie 35 minutes west of Madison, WI, Folklore Village offered a lovely, rural setting for hardingfele classes, dance workshops, concerts, lectures, and our members’ annual meeting.

Hauk Buen, our guest fiddle teacher, is a master of both the Telemark and Numedal playing styles. The richness of Telemark music may need no introduction to American audiences. The beauty of the Numedal hardingfele tradition is in the detail, especially in the hands of master fiddler Buen. Numedal is a small valley in Buskerud county (northwest of Oslo); its music carries some of the oldest traditions in hardingfele music. Other dialects may have had virtuosos who built up their traditions more, but there are few traditions that have such a driving and danceable rhythm. Many of the fiddle tunes are made up of short motifs that are repeated with variations and slight changes of ornamentation and bowing in order to create swirls of sound and build momentum.  

Our dance workshops featured Norwegian national dance champions Karin Brennesvik and Sigbjørn Rua teaching the dances of Numedal. The Numedal springar and gangar have a special flavor all their own, opening with a seemingly stately “walking part” that can be interrupted with flashes of acrobatics on the part of the man, continuing with a laus or free dance for the man and woman, and ending with an exhilarating couple turn. There are some other surprises in these dances, as well as a very special form of tremannsdans (one man leading two women). There was also a review of the Halling springar, which was taught in 2005, plus Telespringar and gangar sets at the evening dance parties.Hauk, Karin, and Sigbjørn are well known to many in our American community through their participation in Scandinavian folk dance camps on two coasts, Christmas Revels in a number of cities, concert tours, and earlier HFAA workshops. We were delighted to be able to offer the opportunity for more of you to learn from them and get to know them personally. They and our American instructors are all well known for their teaching skill. The music and dance at this year’s Workshop captivated all levels of musicians and dancers, in an environment that has been called “the warmest and most supportive in North America!”

Click here for more details about our 2006 Workshop Staff.

Farwell Hall and garden
Fiddlers in processional
Dance class students