2010 Hardanger Fiddle Music and Dance Workshop

Farwell Hall with garden

In 2010 our workshop focused on the music and dance of Hallingdal. The 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 turns, elegant slow turns and couple turns, opportunities for guys to "show off" (or stylishly abstain), and polka steps. 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 bubbling 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.We had three Norwegian champions as our guest teachers. Olav Luksengård Mjelva won the Norwegian national competition (Landskappleik) in Hardanger fiddle in 2008. At the Landskappleik in 2009, Ulf-Arne Johannessen and Ingunn Stræte Lie won the pair-dance competition and the King's Cup for their Hallingspringar and Ulf-Arne won the laus dance competition.

Information about our 2010 Workshop staff

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 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.