Eastbourne International Folkdance Festival 2018


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Andrew Shaw

Andrew ShawSaturday THE PLAYFORD BALL
with Persons of Quality 
Late 17th/ early 18th century dances from the team responsible for Farnicle Huggy and Elephants Stairs - specialists in obscure dance titles!

with Persons of Quality 
The Playford castle gates are open: expect anything - within reason!

ANDREW SHAW was dragged kicking and screaming to his first country dance as a teenager in the 60s. Initial reluctance overcome, he was quickly attracted to the dances and their music, and went on to develop an enthralling interest in and enthusiasm for the history and performance of the English Country Dance.

Read more: Andrew Shaw

Persons of Quality, USA


18th-century England meets 21st-century California.
What a wild and wonderful mix! These three very talented musicians play an imposing array of instruments. Irreverent and improvisatory, Persons of Quality is highly danceable, with plenty of lift and drive.

Jon Berger has played fiddle for English, Irish, Scottish, French, and American folk dancers for over 35 years.

Rebecca King plays English and contra dance in the greater San Francisco Bay area and has been on staff at west coast dance camps, weekends, and balls and at Pinewoods, USA.

Jim Oakden performs on an absurd number of instruments, including accordion, mandolin, several styles of bagpipes, recorders, whistle and zurna. A dancer himself, he specializes in playing for dancers in a bunch of bands for ECD, contra, morris, Irish, Breton/French, Greek, and Bulgarian.

(Persons of Quality n. 1: Emigrants, religious exiles, political rebels, serving men sold for a term of service, apprentices, children stolen, maidens pressed, and others who went from Great Britain to the American Plantations 1600 – 1700.)

Kalia Kliban


Friday 8pm Joy of Dance (Mixed)  Welcome to the weekend 
with Persons of Quality
and display by Renaissance Footnotes

Saturday 7.30pm  Puddle Jumping! with Mollie and Ali
Kalia Kliban has been part of the California Bay Area of USA traditional dance scene since the mid-1980s, performing and teaching in a wide range of styles. At dance camps and festivals across the country she has taught morris, longsword, English and American clogging, English country dance and contra, and she's a regular contra and English caller in the vibrant Bay Area dance community. Her welcoming and relaxed teaching style has helped dancers of all levels experience the joy of traditional dance.

Lisa Greenleaf

Lisa Greenleaf

Saturday 7.30pm  Squares and Contras with  Mollie & Ali

Sunday 7.30pm Main American Evening with ECDB

Lisa Greenleaf calls regularly in New England and has been a staff member at dance camps and festivals throughout North America and Europe. Her specialties include traditional and contemporary contras, fun squares, challenging dances of all shapes and sizes, and caller's training.
Lisa likes to emphasize community and communication in her workshops, guiding participants to get the most out of their dancing experience. Her sense of humor is infectious both on and off the dance floor, and she really loves being at dance festivals!

Lynne Render

Lynne RenderFriday 8pm An American Welcome with ECDB

Sunday 7.30pm Mix and Match with Mollie and Ali

Lynne Render is a dancer and caller from Loughborough in Leicestershire.
She is a regular caller at local clubs and also calls for dances, ceilidhs and workshops at clubs and festivals throughout the country.
Lynne calls for dancers of all abilities and has worked with many well-known bands.
She has called at Sidmouth, Chippenham, Eastbourne, Lichfield and Bromyard festivals, at Casterton and other dance weekends and is a regular caller for The London Barndance Company at Cecil Sharp House, the Alcester contra series and the Peeping Tom ceilidhs.
Lynne likes to call a mixture of American and English dances and is always on the lookout for interesting, but nicely-flowing dances to add to her repertoire. She firmly believes that a clear explanation will enable the less-experienced dancer to enjoy a good dance.
Lynne enjoys a wide range of dancing herself through social dance, ceilidhs and Appalachian clogging.

Brian Stanton

Brian Stanton

Odd Occupations (Jolly Jobs) with Keeping Thyme
A Relaxing Sunday Afternoon with Keeping Thyme: Some of Brian's favourites which are less strenuous physically but might well require the little grey cells to be alert.
The Tunes of Charlene Thomson with Persons of Quality

Brian has been busy since the New Festival Callers Showcase two years ago, with events at Halsway Manor and in the Midlands.  He is a keen member of his club’s Playford display team and regularly performs in period costume at local events and historic buildings.
He loves dancing Playford, modern English and American styles. His workshops will reflect his enthusiasm by encouraging dancers to think of the two big Ts – Timing and Technique.

Corry Verheijen

international Corry 150Unfortunately Corry has hurt her knee and has been advised not to teach at EIFF2018. We wish her speedy recovery and welcome her back in 2019.
She sends her best wishes to the Eastbourne Dancers

She says "My most important aim is Having Fun in dancing. Pleasure in dancing is more important than making the right steps. Just dance and forget the world around you!"

Dalila Heath

DalilaDalila will teach "Dances from my travels" including "do-able" dances with nice music from Turkey, Holland, Armenia and Italy.

Dalila discovered folk dancing in her early 20s and has not stopped since. For many years she performed with the Oranim Israeli Dance Troupe and was a principal dancer of the Arax Armenian Dance Group. She has travelled with the groups both in England and abroad.
Dalila is a founder member of the Akhtamar Armenian Performance Group, an all-female performing group, and runs a monthly Armenian folk dance class for all.

A natural dancer and an enthusiastic teacher who has accumulated a large repertoire over many years, Dalila has studied with many choreographers and has attended seminars in America, Holland and Armenia. She is the SIFD's principal Armenian dance teacher and regularly takes workshops up and down the country as well as giving solo performances for charity and multi-ethnic events.


Gog Magog Molly Dancers

gog magogThe multicoloured menace of the Fens!    We all enjoyed them so much in 2016 that we asked them back for 2018!   Enjoy their workshops on Sunday

Formed in 1996, Gog Magog Molly draw from the traditional dances of the Cambridgeshire fens as well as a range of other inspirations including Harry Potter, a one-way system, a doctoral thesis and local punting hazards, all done with our own distinctive geometric precision and danced to a high-energy step-hop.
Gogs are an easily spotted kaleidoscope of colour right up to (and beyond!) our carefully unco-ordinating faces.

We will be running two workshops on Sunday, a simpler dance from 2-3:15 and a more complicated dance from 3:45-5, though both will be self contained so do show up for either/both. It's an energetic dance form, there's a reason no dance lasts more than 3 minutes, so be prepared and do bring supportive shoes or trainers (gym with sprung floor)


Hervé Dréan & Rachel Goodwin

mad tom"Personne n'y danse, que les amoureux..." ("Nobody dances, except for lovers...")
Friday 8pm till late
Euro-bal ! Dances from France, Brittany… and more!
Hervé Dréan sings dance songs from his native Southern Brittany and plays various whistles, recorders and bagpipes, accompanied by Rachel Goodwin on piano, in a wide range of dance forms from the French Bal Folk repertoire. Whether you know the dances or not, most are easy to pick up, so come and try them out and enjoy a great evening “à la française” !
Breton song and dance workshop (in French!) : Most Breton dance songs are sung by a lead singer and the rest of the dancers repeat all or part of each phrase. Hervé will teach simple repetitive songs and the dances which go with them (Tour, An Dro, Hanter Dro, Rond, Contre-rond, Bal à 4 sauts...), and can also provide you with the words if you prefer!
Hervé and Rachel will also lead a Breton tune session for all instruments. Music provided.


Irish Set Dance with Maggie Daniel

Maggie DanielMaggie Daniel first tried Irish Set Dancing at Bromyard Folk Festival in 1996. This was followed by her first trip to Ireland in 1998 where she was really bitten by the bug, and has never looked back! Maggie began calling for set dancing about ten years ago, and now runs two Irish Set Dancing clubs in Devon. During this weekend Maggie will try to pass on the joy of set dancing to the workshop participants, and maybe set them off on a similar journey!


Jill Bransby

Jill Bransby

Jill will be teaching workshops under the title "Broaden Your Horizons" for dancers who are less familiar with the international side of the festival.
She will also be leading the Saturday Night International Dance with live music provided by Cloudburst.

Jill has been dancing ‘with the world’ for a long time. As a teacher of international folk dance she is well known for her enthusiasm and energy, especially at her local club which she founded 40 years ago. She is delighted to participate in this years’ Festival as, in past years, she helped to organise it, called at dances, taught workshops, played music and also came as a carefree punter.



Maggie O'Regan

Maggie OReganMaggie will teach Gentle Bulgarian and Romanian dances and will also MC the Sunday Balkan-Extra evening, assisted by Dalila.


Maggie O'Regan started dancing as a child in Australia, and only started International folk dancing when she came to live in England. She quickly discovered that her main areas of interest were the Balkans and Eastern Europe. She danced with Greek and Romanian performance groups in London and attended many seminars abroad, in Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Macedonia and Ukraine, and studied with Lykion Ton Hellenidon in London.

Nigel Close

Nigel CloseNigel has danced for most of his adult life and was dance director of the display team Woodfidley for many years. He calls for Playford balls, club nights and ceilidhs; has taught a range of workshops including Welsh, Manx and dance technique; and leads the Winchester club ‘as many as will’.

His philosophy is that dancing should be enjoyed and part of this enjoyment is in listening and responding to the music – making the music visible in dance.

In his spare time he is the token man in a circle dance group!

Renaissance Footnotes

renaissance footnotes 2

Renaissance Footnotes present the music and dances of the distant past in an interesting and entertaining fashion. Come and enjoy the performance and then have a go at the dances.




We are pleased to welcome back Cloudburst: fiddlers, Adrian Boddy and Wendy Harrup-Moran with Martin Butler on piano accordion who will play for Saturday evening's International Dance in the Sports Hall.. They have played several times before at Eastbourne International Folkdance Festival and also at Dance Around The World,
The band was formed over 40 years ago and plays for traditional dance of many different kinds. They have strong links with local dance groups and clearly believe that as "musicians for dance", they should be dancers too! They enjoy participating in a wide variety of folk dance including ECD, International, Morris and Appalachian Clog.
"We hope that our appreciation of the dance is reflected in our playing".
The photo shows Cloudburst and Jill Bransby, who will be leading the dance on Saturday evening in the Sports Hall.

English Contra Dance Band

ECDBThe English Contra Dance Band is a two piece band playing music for contra dance. They are based in the UK and have been performing for the last ten years at most of the major contra dances. Linda Game plays a driving fiddle style over Gareth Kiddier's solid piano accompaniment. Although they are from different traditions, English traditional and Rock, they have adapted very well to the American high energy style of contra dance music. As a dancer recently said, "How can two people make so much noise!".

Read more: English Contra Dance Band

Keeping Thyme


Keeping Thyme

Eastbourne IFF would not be the same without Julia, Shane and Tina.  We know that they will play lovely, danceable music for you, and then complete the weekend by leading the musicians in the Final Fling on Monday afternoon, and still be smiling at the end of it all.


Mollie & Ali

Fiddle and accordion with zest, with swing, playing contra dance and country dance with energy and lyrical abandon.

We are dancing with you when we play, and like you we are making it up as we go along...


passamezzoPassamezzo is dedicated to the performance of Early Music in an accessible, educational and historically informed context. The name 'Passamezzo' comes from the sixteenth century round (a series of chords) of this name. A passamezzo might take the form of a simple song or dance - Greensleeves is the most well known example of this form - but could also become a courtly dance or an exhibition piece, with virtuosic and showy divisions played upon it.
We give frequent public music performances and have played in museums, barns, palaces, concert halls, theatres, gardens, stately homes and ruins throughout the country.

They will be playing for Renaissance Footnotes on Saturday and Sunday.
Come along to the Meet the Team session and ask questions about their music.

Tea Makers needed

If you would like to volunteer to help with the refreshments, it will get you to the front of the queue. You will miss a couple of dances, but not too much if you're efficient!
In 2018, please contact the Venue Managers at the beginning of the festival to book your turn!

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