Pupils at two Shropshire schools are set to take part in a project to learn traditional folk arts with a modern twist working with Shrewsbury Folk Festival held over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Children from Trinity Primary School in Ford and Worthen Primary School will take part in a two week-long programme to learn new skills that will be performed at this year’s festival.
Members of The Demon Barbers and the Breaking Tradition Dance Company will bring their unique take on folk dance to the students during the summer term. They are renowned for their acclaimed dance shows The Lock In and The Demon Barbers XL that combine modern dance styles with traditional folk dance and music.
The school workshops will fuse traditional folk dance such as clog, morris and rapper sword dancing with hip hop and break dancing. Participants will also take part in music workshops.
The project is part of the festival’s All Together Now programme that aims to introduce a new audience to folk and world music. Future initiatives will include percussive dance workshops with a premiere showcase at the festival in August 2016.
All Together Now Project Manager Joy Lamont said, "We are very excited about this opportunity for Shropshire schoolchildren to learn more about traditional folk music and dance with such a progressive set of artists. The Demon Barbers and Breaking Tradition have a completely fresh take on folk and it will really appeal to young people with their modern twist. It’s a great way to pass on important lessons about folk heritage to the next generation and preserve our traditions for years to come."
It has been funded thanks to an £86,410 investment from the National Lottery through Arts Council England, a £5,000 Arts Development award from Shropshire Council, and £2,000 from Shrewsbury Town Council. The festival is meeting the remaining cost.
All Together Now has already included new music and dance commissions performed at the 2015 festival, music workshops and mentoring opportunities, the launch of the Shropshire Youth Folk Ensemble for gifted and skilled young musicians and the creation of the first ever archive of Shropshire songs, curated by county musician John Kirkpatrick.
The 2016 event features a line-up including headliners Rosanne Cash, Levellers, Nick Lowe, Paul Carrack and Andy Fairweather Low, Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band, Tom Robinson, and Raghu Dixit.
Also confirmed are Rosanne Cash, Levellers, Eliza Carthy and the Wayward Band, Tom Robinson, Raghu Dixit, Dervish & guests, Show of Hands, Treacherous Orchestra, John McCusker Band, Andy Irvine, folk reggae group Edward II, Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson, Shooglenifty, Sheelanagig, The Urban Folk Quartet, Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra, Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, Karen Matheson, Lady Maisery, Ian Anderson & Maggie Holland, The Wilsons, Blackie and Stephen Fearing, Kefaya, Snow in June, Hot Vultures, Roaring Trowmen, Stephen Fearing, The Wilsons, Two Blank Pages, Galleon Blast, The Boondock Hippy, Amadou Diagne & Modou Cissokho, Kit Hawes & Aaron Catlow, Dila V and The Oddbeats, Medicine Creek, Gnawa, Roaring Trowmen, Andy May Trio, Richard Shindell, Barnstar!, and Ten Strings and a Goatskin.
The festival has four music stages, a dance tent, more than 100 workshops, children and youth programmes, onsite camping, a craft fair, real ale, wine and cocktail bars, and a food village, and takes place from Friday 26th until Monday 29th August 2016.
Tickets are currently priced at £130 for a full weekend ticket. A concessions ticket is priced at £120. A youth ticket (aged 12 to 17 years) is priced at £80. A child (aged 5-11 years) ticket is priced at £40. Children aged four and under go free. On-site camping is available to all weekend ticket holders with prices held at £25 per adult, or £10 for youths, free for those aged under 12.
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