Thursday 9th June: Return to Brittany, plus Eurosession

Get your happiness hormones here!

Mellowing in the summer warmth, in June we revisit Brittany with Gavotte des Montagnes, an invigorating dance of community and mystery. With a sprinkling of exercise, togetherness, laughter and achievement, you can expect to induce some happiness hormones in return. After the workshop we’ll continue with our usual Eurosession of offers and requests.  Bring comfortable shoes that turn easily, and/or instruments if you want to play later on in the session.

Dance workshop: 8pm – 9pm BST / UTC+1
         Eurosession: 9pm – 11pm BST / UTC+1
                 Venue: Shakespeare’s Pub ~ S3 8UB
Zoom: See below for details

Fest noz à Acigné, Attribution: CC BY-SA 4.0 Aloisbreizh from Wikipedia

Keep on caring!
Eurosession is a welcoming community and we want everyone to feel safe.  Please stay home if you feel unwell or have tested positive for Covid-19.

About the workshop:

Gavotte des Montagnes is a communal dance revived in Brittany in the 1970s; here’s why it’s popular:
First, from the musicians, comes an intriguing thread of melody seeping through the conversations and luring dancers onto the dance floor.  Then the gavotte rhythm steps up to an insistent driving undertow, galvanising a line of dancers into one pulsating unit, with a simple but subtle eight step pattern.  In the middle of the dance there is a meandering break in the music, with some meaningful musical phrases. The dancers respond with arcane embellishments and an insouciant air. Equally mysteriously, the initial insistent rhythm returns to power the dancers through another pulsing journey.  

So, come one, come all, hear this call!
Join us to find out how to minimise your input effort and maximise your staying power for a long night of dancing. Get a gentle brain workout too, with some unexpected coordination of your extremities. Music from Anna Pack, teaching by Susannah Diamond.

Donations:
We suggest a £5 cash donation for the workshop, although if you give more then we can better support our teachers and musicians with fair payment.

Zoom:
We’ll stream from Shakespeare’s as usual. Zoom details can be obtained via our donations page.

See you soon,
xx Eurosesh

Thursday 12th: Mazurkas in May, followed by Eurosession

M is for Mazurkas! And other marvellous dances 😉

Photo by Ben Reid from Skint 2021

In May we are revisiting the Mazurka, a pearl of balfolk couple dances. With music from Jo Veal, Anna Pack, and teaching by Susannah Diamond, the workshop will be both an intro to mazurka for recent newcomers, and provide tips around connection and style for more experienced dancers.

We’ll continue from the workshop to our usual eclectic Eurosession. We had an extra Eurosession in April, so May has come around rather quickly, but we look forward to another cracking night on the 12th.

Dance workshop: 8pm – 9pm BST / UTC+1
         Eurosession: 9pm – 11pm BST / UTC+1
                 Venue: Shakespeare’s Pub ~ S3 8UB
Zoom: See below for details

Keep on caring!
Eurosession is a welcoming community and we want everyone to feel safe.  As dancing can involve being in close proximity to others, please stay home if you feel unwell or have tested positive for Covid-19.

About the workshop:

The mazurka is a favourite and satisfying couple dance, adaptable to many styles of music, from brashly energetic through to languidly intimate, some of them coexisting on the same dancefloor… as shown in this video with Naragonia.

The dance swept from Poland into France in the 1830s, and was later influenced by ballroom and blues. In the workshop we’ll explain the basic structure of the mazurka and highlight how to achieve some of the different springing, swirling, and swaying possibilities. Along the way we hope you’ll pick up some tips for achieving a satisfying connection with your dance partner, and an understated stylishness.

Bring comfortable shoes that turn easily, and/or instruments if you want to play later on in the session.

Donations:
We suggest a £5 cash donation for the workshop, although if you give more then we can better support our teachers and musicians with fair payment.

Zoom:
We’ll stream from Shakespeare’s as usual. Zoom details can be obtained via our donations page.

See you soon,
xx Eurosesh

Thursday 28th April: Scandinavian music and dance evening for Eurosession

A magical Scandinavian extra for musicians and dancers in Sheffield!

We’re offering a bonus Scandinavian evening in April to bring magical powers for your dancing or musicianship, or at least to lift to your spirits!  The nearby Scandimoot festival sold out this year within 3 hours(!), but for those of you unable to make it to the festival or indeed to Sweden, Eurosession is delighted to host two Scandimoot teachers for a bonus Scandi evening in Sheffield, with a music workshop plus a dance workshop followed by a combined session.

Music workshop:  7:00 – 8:30 pm BST (UTC+1)
Dance workshop:
 
8:30 – 10:00 pm BST (UTC+1)
Combined session: 
10:00 – 11:00 pm BST (UTC+1)    
                    Venue:  
Shakespeare’s Pub ~ S3 8UB
Zoom: 
See below for details

Keep on caring!
Eurosession is a welcoming community and we want everyone to feel safe.  As dancing can involve being in close proximity to others, please take a lateral flow test beforehand if you can, and stay home if you feel unwell or have tested positive for Covid.

About the two workshops and session:

Fredy Samuel Lundh will lead a music workshop focusing on how to make a tune inspire the dancing with characteristic Swedish lilt, ornamentation and emphasis.  Later in the evening you may find you have gained magical powers to propel a roomful of dancers around the dancefloor!  The workshop should appeal to players of any melody instrument who are comfortable with learning by ear.

After the music workshop, musicians then have options to continue directly on to join the dance workshop, move next door for a cosy session in the side room, or take a break for Shakespeare’s fine selection of ales, or find food nearby to the pub.

Isa Holmgren will lead a dance workshop with a focus on the two Scandinavian favourites of polska and schottis, which will help you to survive on any Scandinavian dance floor, finding the magic of powering a turn with the music. For those with some familiarity, the workshop will help you to polish your techniques for turning and being in synch with your partner and the energy of the music.  You will also experience the treat of dancing to Isa’s magical lilting (singing for dancing), with options to join in some singing if you choose.  No need to bring a partner, but smooth-soled flat shoes are recommended.

After the workshops we can all reunite for a final music and dance session of offers and requests. Continue below for more info about both teachers, and also about the donations and zoom details:

Isa Holmgren

Isa grew up in the traditional dancing scene around Värmland, Sweden, and her experience as a folk dancer and musician is rooted in the asymmetrical rhythms and melodies of the dance music from the Sweden-Norway border. She has worked as a dance teacher in both Sweden and abroad.

Isa excels at singing, especially in the style of ‘slåttetralling’ or ‘lilting’, where she brings together her years of research of vocal traditions and her experience as a dancer.
She studied at the Academy of Music and Drama in Gothenburg and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Traditional Nordic Folk Music at the Oslo Academy of Music.

Fredy Samuel Lundh

Samuel‘s musical career began at a young age. Growing up in a very musical environment, he got to know the world of music through violin, guitar and (Sweden’s national instrument) nyckelharpa. Listen on spotify

He studied at the Goteborg music academy, has played and performed in many different collaborations and is now best known as the founder and nyckelharpa player of the duo Bäckafall.

Samuel also works as a producer and artistic director and has lots of experience with leading bands and of teaching Swedish traditional music.

Donations:
We suggest a £5 cash or card donation for the workshop, although if you give more then we can better support our teachers and musicians with fair payment.

Zoom:
We’ll stream again from Shakespeare’s into our usual Zoom room so you can tune into the pub from your home. You can obtain the Zoom details in return for a small donation – see our Donations page.

See you soon,
xx Eurosesh

Thursday 14th April: Four Person Bourrée Workshop, followed by Eurosession

Hip hip bourree! Celebrate spring with some stylish moves!

Put a spring in your step with some interesting bourrée dances!  No previous experience is necessary and we always love to introduce newcomers to the wonders of European dance as well as providing a refresher and further tips for those who already have some experience. We’ll continue from the workshop to our usual eclectic Eurosession.

Dance workshop: 8pm – 9pm BST / UTC+1
         Eurosession: 9pm – 11pm BST / UTC+1
                 Venue: Shakespeare’s Pub ~ S3 8UB
Zoom: See below for details

Keep on caring!
Eurosession is a welcoming community and we want everyone to feel safe.  As dancing can involve being in close proximity to others, please consider taking a lateral flow test beforehand, and stay home if you feel unwell or have tested positive for Covid.

About the workshop:

Traditional Bourrée, as danced at the Fête des Chavans
Traditional Bourrée, as danced at the Fête des Chavans

For April we are heading to the very centre of France to the Berry / Bourbonnais region in order to learn some interesting bourrée dances for four people.  Anna Pack will take us through the moves for some favourite and lesser known dances, such as Bourrée des Jeunes and Bourrée de Sarzay, which we will dance to the energetic and exciting clarinet playing of Jo Veal, along with Anna on diatonic accordion. 

This style of bourrée is danced very close to the ground using small steps, as the dancers weave in and out and around each other in different formations. By the end of the workshop we hope you too will be able to respond to the driving music with the contained energy and effortless panache characteristic of the style.  As a taster to whet your appetite, this YouTube video demonstrates four different dances in succession. We will cover some of these moves in the workshop. 

No partners are required and these particular dances do not involve physical contact with others.  Smooth-soled flat shoes are recommended.

Donations:
We suggest a £5 cash donation for the workshop, although if you give more then we can better support our teachers and musicians with fair payment.

Zoom:
We plan to stream again from Shakespeare’s into our usual Zoom room so you can tune into the pub from your home. You can obtain the Zoom details in return for a small donation – see our Donations page.

Save the date:
There’ll be a bonus Scandinavian extra on Thurs April 28th, with teachers Isa Holmgren and Samuel Lundh for a music workshop, dance workshop, and combined session.

See you soon,
xx Eurosesh

Thursday 17 March: Eurosession with a Polska dance workshop

Banish the winter blues away with some Nordic lift!

Note: This month’s workshop will be on Thursday 17th, a week later than our normal Eurosession. 

We continue a Nordic theme by offering a polska dance workshop for March.  We’ve been delighted to welcome some new faces to Shakespeare’s in recent months, and would love to introduce newcomers to the mysteries of Scandinavian dance, and provide a refresher and further tips for those who already have some experience.  We continue after the workshop with our normal eclectic Eurosession.

Dance workshop: 8pm – 9pm GMT / UTC
         Eurosession: 9pm – 11pm GMT / UTC
                 Venue: Shakespeare’s Pub. S3 8UB
Zoom: View a livestream from home

Keep on caring!
Eurosession is a welcoming community and friends and teddy-bears are all welcome.  However please take a lateral flow test beforehand if you are able to do so, and stay home if you feel unwell or have tested positive for Covid.

About the polska workshop:

cropped-1008274_10151667558965211_1432000672_o.jpg

Polskas can be characterised by some fast spins, but also by gentle promenades, hugs, and courtesy.  Furthermore, it involves a shared interaction between a musician (or a whole spelmanslag), two dancers, and a wooden floor. 

Susannah will be teaching the workshop and hopes to transmit to you some understanding, skills and strategies for translating the musical inspiration and svikt into a wonderful journey around the room. We will be dancing to Nicky’s joyously driving fiddle, and you can expect to gain a lilt in your stride, and some ease in your shoulders.  No partner needed, but please bring smooth-soled shoes that can turn easily on a floor.

Donations:
We suggest a £5 cash donation for the workshop, although if you give more then we can better support our teachers and musicians with fair payment.

Zoom:
We plan to stream again from Shakespeare’s into our usual Zoom room, and believe we have resolved last month’s connectivity issues. You can obtain the Zoom details in return for a small donation – see our Donations page.

See you soon,
xx Eurosesh

Thursday 10 February: Eurosession with an ‘Energising Polskas’ music workshop

Workshop in Scandinavian style music, with music and dancing to follow 

Music workshop: 8:00 pm to 9pm (UTC / GMT):
Eurosession: 9: 00 pm to 11 pm (UTC / GMT):
Venue: Shakespeare’s PubS3 8UB
Zoom: We plan to connect from Shakespeare’s to Zoom.

About the evening:
We’re returning to Shakespeare’s with a Scandinavian music workshop in February. This workshop will be the first in-person Eurosession music workshop for a long time – come and learn some exciting Nordic dance tunes and harmonies which we can play together!

After the workshop we’ll continue the evening with our usual session of European traditionally inspired dances. Please only join us if you have tested negative on a lateral flow test and are feeling healthy. Continue reading to find out more about participating in the evening.

Playing fiddle in a neutrino detector
Here is Nicky McConkey playing fiddle inside the ProtoDUNE neutrino detector! 

About the workshop

Nicky McConkey has an infectious love of Scandinavian tunes. She has gravitated towards the marvellous smorgasbord of tunes from Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, participated in many workshops and sessions, and played for dancing wherever possible.  Nicky takes her music with her everywhere she travels and works and has therefore played violin inside a neutrino particle detector!  We look forwards to making the most of her expertise whilst she is still in the country.

In the workshop you’ll have the opportunity to learn some of Nicky’s favourite Nordic repertoire and harmonies, and to understand how to use emphasis to lift dancers in synchronised energy on the dance floor. You’ll practice learning by ear and be able to recognise key features of Scandinavian rhythm and decoration.  Nicky plays fiddle, but all instruments are welcome. 

Precautions for the pub
Please ensure you have a negative lateral flow test result within 24 hours of the session (or are testing regularly), We open windows and the fire-escape for ventilation and encourage socialising in the courtyard if at capacity. Note that although we offer hand sanitizer and facemasks, not many participants wear masks.

Inclusivity and wellbeing
Eurosession is a welcoming community and friends and teddy-bears are welcome.  However please stay home if you feel unwell or have been in recent contact others who were ill.

Donations:
We suggest a £5 cash donation for the workshop, although if you give more then we can better support our teachers and musicians with fair payment.

About the Zoom option
We plan to stream again from Shakespeare’s into our usual Zoom room and provide a breakout room for chats or virtual tune swaps. You can obtain the Zoom details in return for a small donation – see our Donations page. For help see Zoom’s guides about original sound, video-layout and breakout rooms.

See you soon,
xx Eurosesh

Thursday 13 January: Music workshop with Eva Parmenter, followed by e-Eurosession

Beat the pandemic blues and lingering winter darkness with some Portuguese energy

As Covid stats are still stratospheric, we have decided to opt for an online gathering in January. Let’s see if we can shake off the pandemic blues and that dark winter feeling, and crank up our creativity to bring good cheer to those who may still be shielding for safety.

Plus we are just delighted to welcome Eva Parmenter, an outstanding musician from Portugal for a nourishing music workshop (see below). After the workshop we’ll continue on with our Eurosession for tunes, dancing and some friendly chat. So update your Zoom app, check your time-zones, tune up the instruments, or find your dance shoes, and join us online to share tunes and dance at home.

Workshop and session times:
8:00pm – 9:30 pm (GMT / UTC+0 ) – Workshop  
9:30 – 11:00 pm (GMT / UTC+0 ) – Eurosession

Zoom access:
If you made a note of our Zoom details in the past, you can continue to use those details. If you need a reminder, please email sheffield.eurosession at gmail.com in good time.
We ask for a £2 minimum payment to help to keep our Zoom sessions secure, but if you enjoy our sessions and can donate £5 or £10, that will help us to give fair payment to our musicians and dance teachers. We’ll provide a donation option in the session.

About the workshop: 

Playing for dancing workshop with Eva Parmenter from Portugal

Eva Parmenter playing diatonic accordion on stage.

For this workshop Eva will revisit one of the Portuguese favourites such as the Regadinho, Erva Cidreira, Repasseado, or Viras, and perhaps teach another of her favourite dance tunes. Expect to learn how to create the pulse for the infectious lilting rhythms of these dances, as well as how to find variations to tease the dancers or to play in ensemble with others. All instruments welcome, provided you have some confidence with your instrument and can learn by ear.

Eva Parmenter is one of the most outstanding concert artists in Portugal. She finds new ways of using her traditional instrument, composing sound journeys that trancend boundaries, combining music from the past, present and future. Eva performs solo with diatonic accordion and voice, and also contributes to many other musical combinations such as the duo Parapente700, Vagaço Colectivo, Tugoslavic Orkestar and Baile das Histórias. See more at: https://www.facebook.com/evaparmenterofficialpage/

Tips for enjoying the evening

Zoom tips for Everyone:
Please mute when someone else is playing, and use the chat feature to communicate. For help see Zoom’s guides about video layout and breakout rooms, and our quick guide too.

Musicians on Zoom:
Instruments often sound better with the Original Sound feature – see the Zoom Help about enabling this. It’s also helpful to let dancers know what dance type you’ll be playing (if you know yourself!).

Dancing on Zoom:
Enjoy the challenge of identifying and recollecting the different genres and giving feedback to the musicians, or dance whatever you fancy with your video joyfully on or off according to preference.

Eurosession is an inclusive and caring space for all.
Invite your co-space-sharing mates / family / teddy-bear along if appropriate 😉

Please note:

Cancelled: Bal with Salmanazar, January 9th in Crookes Social Club
This has been cancelled due to the current wave of infections and precautions.


See you soon,
xx Eurosesh

Thursday 13 January: Eurosession – format to be confirmed

Hi folks, we regret to let you know that given the current Omicron context, we have decided to cancel our exciting plans for the 9th January, so you can un-save the date and set it free.

We hope to do *something* on 13 January but will decide nearer the time whether that will be in person at Shakespeare’s or online. (Or both; we did manage to rig up a live stream from Shakespeare’s into Zoom in December, so you can expect that again in the future).

Wishing you all some small, safe, and special gatherings until we meet again.

Best wishes
xx Eurosesh

Thursday 9 December: Rondo workshop and Festive Eurosession

Find festive spirit with a jaunty walk and merry tunes down the pub (and perhaps online)

Image adapted from OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay 

About the evening:
We’re returning to Shakespeare’s with a Rondo / Rondeau workshop for December. These deceptively simple dances are danced with a partner or in short chains of four or five. Expect some fun footwork and variations yielding a jaunty swagger.
After the workshop we’ll continue the evening with a festive feel, slipping in as many seasonal tunes as we can manage to dance as we can manage to pair with a traditional dance from elsewhere in Europe. So we encourage musicians to get your merry thinking caps on and bring some seasonal tunes to start off the festive season with good cheer!

Key Details:
Dance workshop:
8:00 pm to 9pm (UTC+1 / BST):
Eurosession: 9: 00 pm to 11 pm (UTC+1 / BST):
Venue: Shakespeare’s PubS3 8UB
Zoom: We hope to connect from Shakespeare’s to Zoom.

Precautions for Shakespeare’s
Please ensure you have a negative lateral flow test result within 24 hours of the session (or are testing regularly), However note that although we will make hand sanitizer and facemasks available, at November’s session, not many participants wore a mask. Last month we approached capacity with about thirty people, so may need to encourage socialising in the courtyard., but will again open windows and fire-escape for ventilation.

Donations at Shakespeare’s:
We suggest a £5 cash donation for the workshop, although if you give more then we can better support our teachers and musicians with fair payment.

Inclusivity and wellbeing
Eurosession is a welcoming community and friends and teddy-bears are welcome.  However please stay home if you feel unwell or have been in recent contact others who were ill.

Tips for the Zoom session

About the Zoom option
We also hoping to connect from Shakespeare’s into Zoom with at least audio, and possibly video. probably with a second Zoom room for chatting or playing other tunes. Do let us know what you think of this proposal, or feedback to us afterwards.

Zoom access:
If you made a note of our Zoom details in the past, you can continue to use those details. If you need a reminder, please email sheffield.eurosession at gmail.com in good time. We may ask for a £2 minimum payment to help to keep our Zoom sessions secure.

Zoom tips for Everyone:
Please mute when someone else is playing, and use the Chat feature to communicate. For help with navigation and screen layout, see Zoom’s guides about Self-selecting a Breakout Room and for Video-Layout.

Musicians on Zoom:
Instruments often sound better with the Original Sound feature – see the Zoom Help about enabling this. It’s also helpful to let dancers know what dance type you’ll be playing (if you know yourself!).

Dancing on Zoom:
You can enjoy the challenge of identifying and recollecting the different genres and giving feedback to the musicians, or dance whatever you fancy with your video on or off.

And finally:

Bal with Salmanazar, January 9th in Crookes Social Club
This has been cancelled, due to the current need for precautions.


See you soon,
xx Eurosesh

Thursday 25 November: Online Eurosession Gathering

A bonus Eurosession for November to gather our extended online community again!

Image from Pixabay

Hello folks – it’s time to reconnect. This Eurosession is an opportunity to meet online to share tunes and dance at home. We’ll do our eco bit by participating from home, and help people stay safe by connecting at a distance. So check your time-zones, and polish up your favourite tunes or clear a space to dance, and join us online for another vibrant Zoomsession.

There won’t be a workshop on this occasion but a couple are in the pipeline for the new year.

Session times:
8:30 pm – 11:00 pm (UTC+1 / BST) – Eurosession 

Session access and donations:
If you made a note of our Zoom details in the past, you can continue to use those details. If you need a reminder, please email sheffield.eurosession at gmail.com in good time before the session. We will ask for a £2 minimum payment as a precaution to help to keep our Zoom sessions secure.

More tips:
You’ll have the option to join and leave Zoom breakout rooms to move between the session, workshop, and the bar. See our quick guide if you get stuck.

If you plan to share a tune
It may sound better if you turn on the Original Sound feature when playing – please check out the Zoom Help about how to enable this this in your Zoom settings.

Tips for enjoying the evening

The rest of the evening should provide similar experiences as previous sessions – marvellous musicians, delicious dancing, and a bit of chatting. Here are tips for maximum enjoyment:

Zoom tips for Everyone:
Please mute your audio when you are not speaking / leading the music, and use the Chat feature for background communication.
To switch views between seeing one individual (Speaker View) and all participants (Gallery View), consult How-Do-I-Change-The-Video-Layout.
Head to the bar for a longer chat alongside the workshop or session; for help see our quick guide, or Zoom’s longer guide to Self-selecting a Breakout Room

Musicians:
Please play tunes for dancing, prioritising dances from the balfolk scene and other traditional genres from across Europe. [Preferably avoid English and Irish, because we have plenty of those in other local sessions!]
In the Zoom sessions, only one person (or device) can broadcast at any one time; use the chat to help create a a rolling running order of dance tune offers.
It generally sounds better if you turn on the Original Sound feature when playing – please check out the Zoom Help about how to enable this in your settings.
When you’ve been chosen to lead, let the dancers know what dance type you’ll be playing if you can. Then select Original Sound when you’re ready to play, and turn it off again for normal voice transmission.

Dancers:
Get your dance shoes on; if you have a danceable space, book it for the evening, You can attempt to dance the right genre of dance at the right time (albeit half a beat behind!), or dance whatever takes your fancy. More important is to dance as though no-one is watching, or as though you can cheer up everyone else who is watching!  It’s also fine to turn your video off if you feel freer dancing in private.

Eurosession is an inclusive and caring space for all.
Invite your co-space-sharing mates / family / teddy-bear along if appropriate 😉

See you soon,
xx Eurosesh