2009 Hardanger Fiddle Music and Dance Workshop

Elegant and soulful, the music and dance of Telemark is perhaps the best known of the Norwegian bygdedans traditions, both at home and abroad. Here is a unique opportunity to learn from master tradition-bearers of the region. Hauk Buen is a Norwegian national treasure, a master of the Telemark and Numedal fiddling traditions. Olav Sem has been teaching and performing the dances and songs of Telemark all his life. Kenneth de Gala, who has grown up in the traditions of Telemark and Numedal, is widely acclaimed for his dance fiddling. Our American teachers are respected for their outstanding teaching and performing skills. Come and share in an environment that has been called “the warmest and most supportive in North America”. 

Hardanger fiddle (hardingfele) workshops: 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 workshops: Participants in the dance classes will have the opportunity to explore the depth and richness of the springar and gangar from Telemark with masterful teacher Olav Sem – a rare opportunity to learn how to listen to the music, relate to the fiddler and your partner and build a wonderful dance.

Students in dance class
Farwell Hall and garden
Fiddle students in group

Mini-workshops: Kveding (traditional singing) and seljefløyte (willow flute) classes offer you a chance to broaden your Norwegian folk music experience!

Folklore Village is the setting for all activities. Located on the edge of a restored prairie 35 minutes west of Madison, Wisconsin, Folklore Village offers a perfect venue for hardingfele classes, dance workshops, concerts, lectures, and dance parties. The beautiful, air-conditioned Farwell Hall includes a spacious sprung-wooden 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.

Scholarships: Bernt Balchen Jr. Hardingfele Scholarships (named in honor of Bernt Balchen, Jr., master fiddle teacher at our workshops from 1985 to 1989 and in 2003) are open to beginning and intermediate hardingfele students. Two scholarships are available for 2009 that cover 100% of the workshop fee. See Scholarships information for the application form and other details. The application deadline is April 15 (postmarked).

HFAA Work Scholarships covering approximately 50% of the workshop fee are available to 4-day (and possibly some part-time) workshop attendees. Applicants must submit the 2009 Registration Form according to the regular deadlines. For more information or to apply, contact workshopchair (at) hfaa (dot) org.

Children and Teenagers: 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. Contact the Workshop Chair by e-mail at workshopchair (at) hfaa (dot) org to make arrangements.

Room and Board: The Folklore Village staff prepares delicious meals for the enjoyment of all. They offer a vegetarian option but they do not accommodate specialized dietary restrictions. Please indicate on the registration form if you desire vegetarian meals. No discount in the registration price is given for meals not eaten at Folklore Village.