buttons image map The Perth International Folk Dance Group produces the "Grapevine" newsletter for present and past members several times per year.

Below is the content of the Volume 9, Number 4, Novmeber 1998 edition.
In this issue you will find news on Ö.

If you're really keen you can also read earlier editions:

PIFDG Hits the Road - by Tony Hoar
Masochism takes many forms. My favourite is that of grinding your way up steep hills crouched over handle bars in a lather of sweat and aching legs only to go screaming down the ensuing slope eyes riveted to the road avoiding pot holes and gumnuts lest wheels be exchanged for wings.

Peter Fallonís Cycle Touring Association (CTA) held their 10th annual bike tour, this time of the South West, in mid October. Three PIFDG members Peter, Gisela Gmeinder and Tony Hoar joined 112 other like-minded cyclists to ride from Margaret River to Armadale over an eight day period. This was Peterís 6th tour and Gisela and my 2nd .

Saturday morning found us standing in the Armadale railway station car park, blinking into the early dawn while waiting to be bussed down to Margaret River with our bikes, one bag and a tent each. Peter, never one for the soft option, cycled down earlier.

By Saturday afternoon tents were up, old acquaintances renewed and new ones made. After the nightly three-course meal we settled down to a night of refreshing showers and bracing breezes off the Southern Ocean.

The first dayís ride of 86km took us to Busselton through vineyards (and wineries), cheeseries and other interesting local enterprises; all worth a visit and some sampling. The dayís pace was relaxed, the country was flat and beautiful and the company friendly and interesting. People rode solo or in groups of two or more and at whatever speed they wished. The only objective was to reach the destination in time to put up ones tent, have a shower and share a drink or two with some new found friends. We pushed on from Busselton to Donnybrook (71km) moving up into the hills and leaving behind the coastal flats (along with the most incredible patch of mosquitoes Iíve ever seen).

And so the days unfolded. With the weather warm and sunny, the muscles strengthening day by day we struck out for Collie and then Darkan where we had a well-earned day off. Gisela spent her day off water skiing and swimming! Peter veged out, and I managed a short game of lawn bowls and tea and cake at the CWA!

The next day was the much talked about 100km ride from Darkan to Boddington up what looked like a couple of cliffs on the cross-sectional route map. One very pleasant surprise en route was the old oak-beamed Quindanning Pub. It will be 100 years old next year and has a wonderful feel to it as well as Guinness on tap. A welcome afternoon tea stop was a farm along the way owned by the brother of one of the tour group. A nice break and some good country hospitality. The 100km ride was a first for some (Gisela and myself) and for others like Peter an interesting warm-up!.

The ride from Boddington to Dwellingup was a mere 54km and most arrived by lunchtime. Dwellingup was to be the location of one of the most enthusiastic folk dance performances Iíve ever been involved in.

The last night of each tour always involves a concert of contributed talent from the assembled cyclists. We were treated to some poetry from various sources most very funny, a Didjeridoo player who played a PVC pipe and then a vacuum cleaner and some jokes that couldnít be printed here. Forewarned, Peter organised some costumes and a tape of; Girlís Night Out, Utrecht Hornpipe, the Cajun Dance, Kreuz König, La Bastrange and (to cool down!) Tarantella. We were courageously joined by one time member Annelies Vogel. The audience was extremely enthusiastic and clapped along with the music giving us thunderous applause at the end. We all received many compliments and interested inquiries. The final act was one devised by Gisela featuring a memorable event from each of the preceding tours and that yearís souvenir shirt, along with some spectacular cartwheels from Gisela and some witty ditties from one of the cycling bards.

The last ride was from Dwellingup to Armadale via the backroads. A fairly easy 86km which afforded great views of the coastal plain coming down the scarp.

In retrospect we are all left with memories of different things.

For my part there are memories of watching newly shorn sheep dotted on green fields while leaning on the tally yard rails; of a touching encounter sharing thoughts with an old man in his eighties who had recently lost his wife; of the orange and black butterfly that overtook and passed me while I was labouring up a hill; of inspiring views (well earned) from the tops of hills; lots of fresh air, sunshine and healthy exercise; and of some great characters and shared humour with a happy bunch of people.

Weíre all definites for next year.

Tony Hoar

The Oz Concert - Dancing on New Ground

We walked into the audition room with more than the usual trepidation. A dozen of us from the Performance Group had been hurriedly called together to show what we could do for the Oz Concert, with such short notice that we hadnít rehearsed anything. But when the music started we knew what to do, and the organisers were impressed and enthusiastic. They wanted Bulgarian dance, but we would only have 3 minutes.

What a challenge. Usually we dance for about 15 minutes, and try to create variety by changing countries, changing costumes, mixing fast and slow and menís and womenís dances. Not with this time limit. We have to get on stage, make an impression, and get off. On a huge stage in front of thousands of people. What an adventure!

I knew what I wanted. Iíve seen many groups that are kids, or theyíre all 16-20 years old, but I wanted what Iíve seen in Europe - music and the whole community joining in. Weíve had young Ben and Monique dancing in performances, but now we needed to involve everyone. And everyone dances with different movements. I wanted the PIFDG community.

Picture a village square. A few grandmumís walk in chatting, a couple of energetic grandkids in tow. The music is playing and one of the kids starts dancing, the other looks to say "What are you doing?", and the grandmumís notice and smile. Then they all join in, and the next thing you know the whole village dances in. After a few fancy steps to celebrate our coming together, the first dance finishes. The first dance is based on Belcho Stanevís choreography of Gigensko Horo.

Next comes a rachenitsa, a fast 7/8 popular throughout Bulgaria. Everyone takes turns to show their style with their companions - the grandmaís with grace and gentle precision, the women with nimble energy, the men with bravado and force, Monique with playfulness and Ben with precocious independence. Suddenly the groups fall apart and everyone pairs up, and the dance finishes as a couples dance that everyone knows.

Well thatís the vision. Its a big challenge for all of us ... only three minutes but we all have to work together seamlessly. Iíd really like to thank all the performers for their patience at the rehearsals, because it has several parts and while one group learns their part the rest have to wait. And if youíre not one of the performers, do come and see us at the big event.

John the dancing fool!

Fionaís Workshops - by Cyndie Innes

September was a special month for PIFDG, for it offered another boost of the "Fiona vaccination" which hopefully will continue to be biennial if not annual.

Her usual ebullient self, colourfully clad as always, Fiona led us through a smorgasbord of dances.

Fiona was keen for us to fine-tune our dances, to look at our general posture with special attention to arm movements, so she chose a variety of dances that allowed this. Despite quiet mutterings from some guys learning Azche Jerazanke (a womenís dance from Armenia), they were deftly making either circles or some sort of geometrical shape with their wrists and hands.

The Star of the Sea Church hall was large which enabled our efforts to practise the challenging turns in Yaldati with only a few collisions.

There was the cheerful Russian Walenki (red boots) which at times was an exercise in avoiding being choked or mastectomised. Then a chirpy partner dance from Norway with the wonderful name of Jegg Gikk Meg Ut I Lunden Grønn (I went out into the green grove), a Quadrille from Finland, a Greek/ Macedonian dance and many more.. The farewell dance (Mom Bar from Armenia) with candles, has become a popular finishing dance with lights out, looking very effective; (hot candle grease running down the forearms is a bit of a hindrance to maintaining the quality of that gentle syncopated rhythm!!)

Our lunch hours were spent picnicking and sunning ourselves on the church lawn, some of us comparing our Tai Chi skills.

Any excuse for a party and despite the lack of ovens at the hall our food, as always, materialised into a banquet, essential after that loss of energy blowing up mountains of odd shaped balloons provided by Joy. Fiona and Peter gave a partner dance demo. It all ended in the wee hours, with me staggering in late for the Sunday workshop with Fiona still bright eyed Ö how does she do it?

A few of us continued on to noisy Cicerelloís followed by a Bernard Carney concert in an obscure Vic Park venue. It turned into a treasure hunt. Enough said.

The Party night at St. Magís brought back memories of Fionaís last visit and a collapsing table. This time seemed almost as crowded, however furniture intact as well as imaginary. There was one dance where we had to divide the hall into two rooms and promenade through one door into the other. There seemed to be a mathematical problem with lost partners all over the place!!

But all good things come to an end so we farewelled Fiona at a gathering at Pam and Martinís before she caught the ĎRed eyeí home.

Till next time.............. Cyndie

Fionaís DancesFrom
WalenkiRussia
Russakaji TanetsRussia
Jegg Gikk Meg Ut I Lunden GrønnNorway
Azche JerazankeArmenia
TagadiIsrael
YaldatiIsrael
TsopanopoulaGreece
Mom BarArmenia
RuotsinkatrilliFinland
Dóntia PiknaGreece
Grüezi Wohl Frau StirnimeSwitzerland

The Incoming Committee
We are pleased to welcome two new Committee members, who were nominated at the recent AGM:
Carolyn Cox, who has been a member of the PIFDG and of the Performance Group for a number of years, and
Norma Thompson, who has recently rejoined PIFDG, renewing her enthusiasm for folk dance since Fiona's workshops in September.

Christmas Party
The Groupís Christmas party will be held on 21 December at the St Margaretís Church Hall in Nedlands. Start time 7pm. Please be there to help us to celebrate Christmas.

Au Revoir to Louise and Laurie
Louise and Laurie are off travelling again, this time to Pakistan for two years. Their new address is:
C/o Naunehal Health and Wellfare Org.
Mr Laurie Scott, General Manager
Jaffabad,
Nagar-2
Gilgit
Northern Areas, Pakistan
Their e-mail address in the capital (which they will visit from time to time) is:
laurencescott@hotmail .com

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Last Updated December 1998 - Produced by Web in the Hills
Comments? E-mail jenny@webinthehills.com.au