15:00 “Vendeé region dances” – Maxime Chevrier, Arbadetorne

Maxime Chevrier Dance workshops Dancer – researcher – transmitter for… a long time!  Maxime participates in field surveys of former dancers, singers and musicians in the Vendée (part of Poitou), he supervises numerous dance workshops both in France and abroad. His research on the fiddler tradition led Maxime to orient his practice as a memory passer, initially towards the eastern repertoire of the department. Then, as part of the “Informal Collective on Dance in Poitou-Vendée”, he participates in the analysis of filmed surveys on dance in Noirmoutier (URPUPCP, Lancelot Fund), Ile d’Yeu (Lancelot Fund) and in the Marais NordVendéen (Lancelot Fund, J.M Guilcher, Martel). The results of this work will shed new light on traditional dance practice in the Vendée Northwest. Since 2006, Maxime has been conducting a study through the archives that has led him to reconsider what we took for granted. This work is a part of its teaching during workshops.

Internship content Our meeting will be first and foremost an opportunity to search for the secret little happiness of dance! The Vendée is made up of very varied terroirs, including for the dance repertoire, so we can distinguish three stylistic “major domains” in terms of dance: “Le Marais Nord”, the islands of Noirmoutier and Yeu and the Haut Bocage. The repertoire covered in the workshop will allow you to discover or deepen your knowledge of the dances of the different natural regions of Vendée (Rondes et branle des iles, maraîchine, grand’ danse, “avant deux”).

17:30 “Balfolk for beginners” – Crew

Four Hooves of balfolk, Balfolk for beginners

The beginner workshops are free and open for everyone. If you want to dance we will show you how to. The workshop will contain the basic steps of few balfolk dances and some bal-etiquette to prepare you how not to get lost on the dancefloor


12:00 ”The groove: patterns and flow”, earlier part – Remi Kesteman

14:30 ”The groove: patterns and flow”, later part – Remi Kesteman

Groove is rhythm, groove is a cycle, groove is a pattern. Groove is rhythm… Groove is something intrinsic to dancing: it repeats rhythmical patterns in cycles, and allows us to connect with the rhythm in the music. By identifying these patterns, it becomes easier to anticipate, connect and improvise freely with our partners, thus creating a continuous flow of movement on the dancefloor. We will take a look at the inner works of dancing: its structure, its elements, how they connect, and find our own way of manipulating all of it to spice up our moves. From analyzing to experimenting, come have fun with patterns and find your own dancing groove. What you’ll need: A set of open ears – An open mind – To know the base-step of Scottish, Mazurka, Waltz and Polka – Some experience in leading and following What you won’t need: A dancing partner – Mad dancing skills

12:00 “Next level of couple dancing” – Leo Visser

During this deep-dive workshop we will explore the possibilities in the couple dances featured in Balfolk. We’ll look at why we do certain things in couples the way we do them. We’ll question the steps we do in the dances and see if there are any alternatives which also fit the dance. During this workshop you will get a taste of multiple possibilities for variations in different dances. We’ll look at different ways of varying the dances, for example we will let go of the normal dance embrace and see which possibilities will open up. But we’ll also explore the possibilities we have while being in this dance embrace. Besides the dance couple we will also look at the dance floor as a whole and experiment with the group dynamic during a couple dance. 1,5 hour – break of 30 minutes – 1,5 hour

16:30 “Polish dances” – Po Staremu Crew

The most popular polish dance called mazurek is the origin of both french mazurka and swedish polska. Together with passionate polish dancers and musicians we will try to find a connection between these three dances. Diving into sounds of dusty melodies from our masters we invite you for a great journey into wild rhythms of central Poland and unbridled energy of polish mazurkas in the oldest known form.

16:30 Community musical workshops: “Playing together, together” -Maciej Sowilski

I would like to share with you something I only learned recently – an ability to listen to the music and other musicians. During the workshops we will learn two simple tunes (they will be available earlier to learn) and we will arrange it for a band with all the musicians that will be coming to the workshop. We will talk about the basics of the musical arrangement, session etiquette and “how to play a tune you donʼt know”.

Workshops opened for musicians playing any instrument on any level. If you are travelling without your instrument please let us know – we will try to help

16:30 Community workshops: “Mind The Gap – A Musicality Lab” – Martin Honek

Balfolk music is getting more and more tricky in recent years. Bands are being creative, fuse balfolk with other genres, try to surprise their listeners. How to deal with this postmodern music? What to do when they get too creative? May they actually play dirty tricks on dancers for a purpose? Can you hit a bridge between phrases and still dance on?

The Lab aims to be a chalenge even to advanced dancers, who don’t need to think about hands in tricot or count eight time waltzes. We will go through examples of what can go wrong, try to deal with them, and have fun failing.

18:00 Community workshops: “Prerequisite: Congo de Captieux!” – Krysia Kupiszewska

Basing on a knowledge of the Congo danced in Captieux, we will learn a similar choreography from Luxey.

We promise, that you will be able to test your Congo skills on the dancefloor on the saturday evening.

Duration of workshops: 30-60 minutes


11:00 “Breton Dances for beginners” – Gwerenn

The first step together to meet the breton Fest-Noz. We will learn the popilar An Dro and Hanter Dro, complex suites of Plinn, Gavotte and Loudeac, light Kas A Barh, trance Ridée 6 temps, Laridé 8 temps and Rond de Saint Vincent. Itʼs an introductions to the figures and steps, but most important is the force of the community dancing in circle with the rythm of breton music and becoming one with the musicians.

11:00 “Folk Ninja”, earlier part – Pedro & Magdalena

14:00 “Folk Ninja”, later part – Pedro & Magdalena

Energy – Instinct – Intuition – Creativity – Experiment – Ninja – Vision – Humor … did we say ninja?

You need: Respect for the dojo (venue) and the other ninjas (dancers), already accomplished some ninja missions such as the ancient practice of Mazurka, Scottish and Valse.

You donʼt need: ninja belt or stars, any spy or invisibility skills, to speak Japanese.

To start, a ninja needs a strong sense of self control to maintain a strong body, with bravery and skills. We want to discover and improve your dance skills in three dimensions: reposition your own awareness, how to transmit it on your partner and be in control and connection with everything that is happening around you.

Like ninjas, youʼll learn how to use senses to investigate yourself and where you are, what are your strength and turning every imperfection in a new opportunity in the dance. Before coming out of the egg, as a young ninja-dancer, expect nourishing training of mind and body (to develop technique, stability and instinct) and to work on effective communication youʼll need with other dancing ninjas (clarity and concision, empathy and feedback).

What can happen in dojo: Transformation, Inspiration, Movement through space, Protection, Grounded energy, Fulfillment of potential, Spirit and Strength, Vitality, Mastery… Your way, your dance. Are you ready to transform yourself into a Folk Ninja?

The Teachers:

Magdalena is an actress, musician and dance teacher. Aside theatre she organizes and produces concerts, balls, dance workshops and she is a head of Balfolk Bialystok after giving her heart to FolkLab in Paris. Pedro discovered through “Mazurka Klandestina” that balfolk embraces everything he loves about dancing. Engineer, musician and art-lover, heʼs the president of the association Neapolis Balfolk.Magdalena and Pedro instantly felt they want to create and work together out of the energy that was between them with their natural ability to improvise. They are a spicy mixture of cultures and backgrounds, with energy to inspire and challenge themselves and others. Their passion for theatre and dance is visible in everything they do.

13:00 “Variations in Breton Dances” – Leo Visser

Are you tired of dancing these Breton dances the same way all the time? Well then this workshop is for you! Go with me on a journey through multiple dances from the Breton region. We’ll look at the traditional forms of these dances and then see how they’ve evolved over time. We’ll take this evolution one step further! This workshop will not be your typical workshop in Breton dances where you’ll just learn how to do the steps. During this workshop we’ll take the principles which have been cultivated in couple dances for many years and apply them to dances in chains. People who’ve done this workshop before can come back again, because this time we will not limit ourselves to just the hanter-dro and an-dro. This time we’ll also include the more challenging dances. If you still have difficulty dancing a Koste ‘r c’hoed then this workshop might be very challenging for you, as the goal is not to teach you this dance. 1 hour – 30 minute break – 1 hour

13:45 Music workshops: “Guitar workshops, accompanying the music” – Tomek Biela, Julia Sielicka, Gwerenn

Traditionally in Breton and other balfolk dances, the melody is enough to lead the dancers. Well played accompaniment enriches the experience and gives the dancers more energy. How to play for dancers and still be able to have musical freedom? This is the question we will ask and answer during the workshops.

Scales of Breton music are often simple, consisting of only a few notes – that gives the musicians lots of possibilities to harmonize and play with the music. We will learn the structure of a melody that we accompany and will pick various harmonies, from the simplest to very complex ones.

Dance music is a variety of rhythms, structure, swing. We will look for the swing, accents and optimal tempo of the music.

Workshops for semi-advanced musicians, with at least basic knowledge of chords. We also invite musicians with another accompanying instrument.

If you are travelling without your instrument please let us know – we will try to help

Both Remi Kesteman’s and Pedro & Magdalena’s workshops are planned in a way that you can choose to go to both sessions or just one.