úterý 25. června 2013

6th Midsummer Irish Set Dance Weekend (Violau, Germany)

Here we go again!

I know that "blogs" are supposed to be "diaries", which means you can read new articles daily, but this one is a bit different. However, I have to say I feel exactly the same like 4 months ago after the Erlangen weekend. It doesn´t really matter if it is Erlangen or Violau, I guess it always makes you feel a bit sad and a bit consufed and really happy, when back home. I parked my car in Prague on Sunday at 10PM, and despite being awfully tired, I couldn´t fall asleep, because my entire body was still swinging and battering. On Monday, I tried to focus on my everyday life, failed, and decided to create another "set dance weekend article", as a way how to finally move my mind from Germany back to the Czech republic...But not to get lost in my thoughts, let´s start!

Our group was a bit different that time. Tereza and Markéta stayed at home and instead of them Gabriela joined us. Now it was her first time, so I could describe her my own feelings. But actually, I have to admit I really didn´t feel more confident just because I knew what was going on. I skipped many dance classes because of my university entrance exams and CAE exam this spring, so I was really nervous, because the only set I was sure about was still - yes, Ballyvourney Jig. 

Apart from people on our team, we changed a driver as well. Er, the only reason I´m mentioning it is that I was the driver, and maybe I feel a need for boasting a bit, because it was my first journey longer than 2 hours. Talking about driving, we arrived to Violau with great timing, right for dinner. I was really glad to see that everything is at one place. Our room, ballroom for workshops and ceilis, dining room...Knowing that you could eat your breakfast (almost) in pyjamas is just great! But maybe I should stop talking about food and describe our dance lessons.

To be honest - I don´t remember our Friday ceili much. And I swear I didn´t even touch any glass of wine. Maybe I was just tired after the driving plus I was trying to remember the new faces, recall all the figures...But I can proudly say that the very first set of the weekend was Clare Lancers and I didn´t make any mistake! That information will probably make more sense after mentioning how lost I was in Erlangen during the Carnival night. To sum up, we ended up in bed after midnight and after a really long time I felt the mixture of doziness, tiredness and euphoria, which helped me to fall asleep immediately. I was looking forward to a nice long sleep, with my alarm clock set on 8:45.

Unfortunatelly, my plans were ruined at 7:46, when an old jazz CD started playing. And it kept on playing for an hour. I was told afterwards that it was because of the boy choir. We saw that group of about twenty little eight year old boys, who were staying at the same venue, the evening before. I thought they were cute. But I wasn´t that sure on Saturday morning.

After breakfast, the first workshop with Gerard Butler took place. I really enjoyed his way of teaching, and I´m already missing his "lovely stuff, well done". Frankly, I can´t tell you the names of all sets we went through during the two Saturday workshops, but what amused me was a hornpipe figure in Kilkenny Lancers with "throwing the ladies". During the evening ceili I paid attention to be a gent in that set. 

But I´m skipping my storyline again. We (I mean me, Jana and Gabriela) found a while between dinner and ceili for a short walk in the village. Well, we wanted it to be a long walk, but we somehow accidentally fell asleep after the afternoon workshop...anyhow, it was lovely! And I mean it! The atmosphere of tiny German village during the early evening, with all of those stables, nice houses, grass-plots...it is really unforgetabble. And  I am glad girls forced me to get up. 

Maybe you´re wondering how is it possible that I haven´t mentioned any delay yet, because the Erlangen article was full of our late arrivals...well, here we go. We were 15 minutes late for the evening ceili, but fortunatelly, we missed only one set. Well, I missed, girls joined one group in the middle of it. The whole evening was brilliant, magnificent, splendid, wonderful...is that enough? :) I was taught to be abble to use many different synonyms for one situaton...No, seriously. Johnny Reidy Ceili Band did an amazing job. Maybe it´s because I´m still new in this world, but I really appreciated how they were in touch with the dancers. I had a feeling it was not just a music, it was like they were giving a pieces of their hearts or at least their mood in it. It might sound like a cliché, but it´s true. Actually, I enjoyed everything. The music, the Spanish Jive, the second half of Ballyvourney Jig with Andrea (thanks for the little bag once more!), the waltz (thanks for the dance...) and in the end, two slices of melon before we went to bed after midnight. I have no idea who placed it there, but there is a big THANK YOU! 

Though I was dozing off on our short way back to our room, I couldn´t sleep well that night. You must know it - you´re swinging, and housing, and advancing, and retiring, and ladies-chaining...etc etc. But after all these dreams full of dancing, I woke up fresh and ready for the Sunday programme (with a little shadow of sadness - the last day). We spent our workshop with Rinkinstown, which I had done twice before, once in Prague and once in Erlangen, so I enjoyed watching the others and the feeling that I don´t have to panic when a music starts playing.

It was interrupted by a little surprise - remember the boy choir? They all came to sing for us and it was just...indescribable. I had goose bumps for like 5 minutes. I made a huge silent apology for complaining about the CD playing last morning. They were just sweet. After a big applause, we all danced the Spanish Jive with them, which was really really nice. Even though they apparently didn´t share our opinion. Mostly. 

And here comes the time for a last (maybe) paragraph, dealing with the last ceili. Well, I already have swung really fast before, but the swing in Ballyvourney that afternoon, I thought I would fly. Like literally! Then I managed to dance most of the sets without really thinking about them, which is a big plus I think. Unfortunatelly, Plain Set, which was the very last one, is not my cup of tea. And I´m afraid it was obvious. I just hope that those of you who were watching us had fun. After that little fiasco (even though Jana tried very hard to organize us), the time for long and endless applauding came. For Sabine and Diana, who organized the weekend, for Johnny Reidy Ceili Band, for Gerard, for Sabine and Diana, for Johnny Reidy Ceili Band...but what can you do when you know they totally deserve it? You just clap and clap and clap and think "wow, they really did a great job".

I was thinking about some nice closing paragraph. The paragraph that would end my whole article nicely, in a natural way. Slowly. But then I realized that the weekend DIDN´T end slowly, naturaly and nicely. It just happened, immediately, although I didn´t want it to end. So it´s impossible to create an ending like this. All I can say is thank you for reading, and I hope to see you all soon! Actually, I hope to see you all in August, when Bernard´s Summer School takes place! Are you planning to come? Leave a comment! Well, you don´t have to, but I found out that it´s really "in" to end your blog article with "leave a comment"...

keep swinging!

1 komentář:

  1. Lovely Barbora!

    You write very well, and I'm sure you will have passed your CAE with no problems. :-)

    See you in Erlangen...