Pentreffest Noz is a monthly evening of music and dance – currently featuring traditional music and dance from France and Brittany (Breton) with a sprinkling of music and dance from Sweden and other European regions. It is a very friendly event, whether you are a musician, dancer or someone who just wants to listen and watch. No experience is needed and you don’t need to bring a partner as there are always experienced dancers and musicians there and everyone is encouraged and supported during the evening.
Pentreffest Noz usually takes place on the first Friday of each month (except August). The evening starts with separate workshops for dancers and musicians. Each month something new will be taught, with revision of dances and tunes learnt in previous months. Doors open at 19:15, with the workshops starting at 19:30. The bal [dance] starts at 21:00 and goes on until 23:00-ish.
This is open to musicians of all abilities and any instrument. Learning by ear is encouraged, but notation is provided. Musicians are taught tunes for dancing and they will have an opportunity to play for dances later in the evening. It is an aim to build up a repertoire of music for dancing.
Dancers of all abilities are welcome and during the evening there will be many experienced dancers to help beginners. Again, it is an aim to build up a repertoire of dances. The dances from Brittany do not usually require a partner as they are performed in lines or circles. The dances from other parts of France are usually danced in couples or larger sets. Do not worry if you want to come to the event on your own as there will be others there who will dance with you. Some of the dances we teach are ‘mixers’ so you will get a chance to dance with other people any way.
After a short break for tea or coffee and biscuits, the evening continues with the bal – dancing to live music. A wide range of dances will be enjoyed during the evening. This part of the evening begins with the House Band – featuring all those who play in the music workshop. These musicians have the chance to play the tunes they have just been taught in the workshop, along with other tunes they have learned in previous Pentreffest workshops. After this, other musicians and groups have the chance to play. There will normally be one advertised group performing, but opportunity is there for others to play as well. Check the calendar each month to see information about Pentreffest Noz and other events.