2012 Hardanger Fiddle Music and Dance Workshop

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 nurturing beginners and providing challenges for the more advanced. Come join us in an environment that has been called "the warmest and most supportive in North America".

In 2012 our workshop focused on the dynamic, intriguing music and dance of Valdres. The Hardanger fiddle music tradition of Valdres is rich and varied; in addition to melodies for the springar, bonde and halling dances, there are enchanting, often haunting listening tunes. The Valdresspringar dance, characterized by unceasing energy and forward drive, features quick changes of direction in turns for the women, lightning fast moves for the men, and a dazzling couple turn.  

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: At first glance, the springar from Valdres can seem impossibly challenging, but after a short time in our classes, dancers of all levels--whether children or adults, beginners, intermediate or advanced--will find themselves happily cruising around the floor to the pulsing, asymmetric 3-beat rhythm. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn how to listen to the music, relate to the fiddler and your partner and build a wonderful dance. 

Mini-classes & jam sessions: Kveding (traditional singing) classes offer you a chance to broaden your Norwegian folk music experience. Spontaneous jam sessions on munnharpe (jaw harp) and other Scandinavian instruments may also happen.

Need to borrow a hardingfele?  Can you lend 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. The deadline to sign up for a loaner instrument is June 21 (see the workshop registration form). 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 (at) hfaa (dot) org to arrange for safe travel for your instrument.

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.

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.

Click here for information about our 2012 Workshop Staff