Sheffield Eurosession is open to all. Anyone who wants to play can lead a tune or join in at their own level and the musicians are always happy to take requests for dances. The session is run by a small group of volunteers. If you’d like to offer help or make suggestions, please do so! Sheffield Eurosession is aligned with both traditional and balfolk styles and we are willing to explore any kind of dance originating within Europe, without being too fussy about how to define this. Sessions so far have been influenced by Breton, French, Portuguese, Scandinavian, Klezmer, Basque and Bulgarian traditions.
Sessions are normally monthly, starting at 8pm if there’s a themed pre-session workshop, or 8:30pm if not, and the evenings continue to 11pm and beyond. (Note that there is normally a pre-booked musician for the workshop). We also hold extra occasional gigs with bands and teachers from other places. Here are the next few dates:
Although the formalities of Brexit are fast unravelling the formal ties with our European allies, we can still come together to enjoy the wonderful dances from multiple European traditions.
For February, we’ve an exciting offer of PortuguesefromAndré Dias, so come on down for the 8pm workshop to acquire a little sashay in your hips and a sparkle in your eye.
We’re planning to pack in the Regadinho (a stylish mixer), Repasseado (a lively mix of greeting and celebration), and Mazurka Cabo Verdiana (which returned somewhat sassy from a lengthy trip to Cape Verde). We’ll have music from the ever versatile Jo Veal on clarinet.
To be followed at 9pm by our usual open Eurossession of offers and requests. Normal venue: Upstairs in Shakespeare’s. £5 if you can afford it. All welcome!
This January, we’ve shifted Eurosession from our usual Thursday to next week (Thursday 16th) instead, so we can welcome the lovely HesterandRolf Dahlstrom from Stockhom for a Scandinavian dance workshop.
Hester and Rolf have many years’ experience performing and teaching dancing and will be looking at a variety of traditional dances, particularly Boda, in which a lifting musical style is used to create a pendulum of balance between the partners. Music will be provided by fantastic fiddle player Nicky McConkey.
And instead of Shakespeares or Hagglers… just to keep you on your toes… we will now be in the lovely Sheffield Yoga School on South Rd in Walkley. Please bring indoor shoes or danceable socks to wear so we can keep it nice and clean, and bring instruments for a session after the workshop. Magic.
This young French trio play wonderful traditional music from Poitou in the south of France, as well as Auvergne and Sweden. With two driving fiddles and diatonic accordion, they produce some great dance music from their region of Poitou including the Congo, Avant-deux, Maraichine and Bal Limousine. But they also play standard balfolk dances such as bourées, mazurka, scottish, valse, etc. and some less known such as Rond d’argentons or Bourée 3 temps from the Morvan region. And to top it all they also sing in harmony for dancing – a beautiful experience.
Yes, it’s election day;so go and cast your vote, and then come dance the tension away whilst awaiting the outcome.
In the darkness of December we’re turning to Nordic inspiration, where musicians have created haunting music through the long dark nights of winter, yielding a characteristic pulse for communities to come together and dance.
Megan Hatto has offered to share some of her expertise in dance to unlock some of the mysteries of the polska, whilst Jamie Huddlestone has offered to play for the workshop, and so this dream-team will share some of the polska magic with your soul. Whether you are already a svictaholic or completely new to polska, the workshop will improve your capacity to respond to a musical lilt, and develop a more relaxed turning technique with a partner.
Megan Hatto studied traditional dance in Sweden and contemporary dance in London, and is experienced both as a performer and as a dance teacher. Jamie Huddlestone is a multi-instrumentalist with a keen interest in Scandinavian music. Expect hypnotic complexity and skilful playing.
8pm: Dance workshop – bring shoes that slide and turn easily. Partners not required – we change partners to help everyone get up to speed. 9pm: TheEurosession commences for offers and requests. Venue: Upstairs in Shakespeares, Gibraltar St, S3 8UA.
Warm up on a cool Autumn’s evening with Eurosession!
We’ll be exploring Schottishe variations in the workshop this week, deconstructing the basic framework, and rebuilding it with inspiration from various traditions. Along the way we’ll consider the trade-offs between creativity and connection; and explore the possibilities of directionality, musicality, breaking the frame, and learn a little more about leading and following. Dancing led by Susannah Diamond, and music with Sol Loreto-Miller.
Workshop 8-9pm, then free open music and dance session. £5 for the workshop if you can afford it, nowt if you’re skint. Venue: upstairs in Shakespeares Pub, Gibraltar St as usual.
For our October workshop, Anna Pack will teach dances from the Poitou region of France. This region has a particular style of bourree, plus popular dances such as the Avant Deux, Maraichine, and Rond d’Argenton. How much of these we do will depend on who is in the workshop, but we can guarantee the opportunity to try moving your body in unfamiliar ways, give your heart a little workout, and stimulate both your brain cells and your cheek muscles. Bring shoes with a smooth sole and some good cushioning. No partners required – we change partners in the workshop.
* * * NB. This workshop will also be great preparation for getting the most out of our January bal, for which we have a fab Poitou band booked called “3 Pas D’Ici” – here’s a preview with the fiddler playing and calling at the same time: https://youtu.be/s1g32zNQYWk. * * *
For Thursday 10 October, we’ll be upstairs in Shakespeares Pub as usual. Please contribute £5 to the pot if you can afford to do so. All welcome. Workshop from 8pm, open session for magical tunes and dance requests from 9pm through till 11pm.
Hope you’ve had a lovely summer break and haven’t missed Eurosession too much! We restart Eurosessions on Thursday 12 September.
8pm-9pm – Bal basics workshop We’d like to reconnect back to our key European dance inspirations with a bal basics workshop ahead of another exciting year of more specialised music and dance workshops [and also ahead of another uncertain month for our European identities!]. So September 12 will be a great workshop to flag up to people you know that haven’t come to Eurosession before. And if you can do the basics in your sleep, then do come and share some Euro love with others to help them get on board with planet Eurosession, or change roles and see if that helps or hinders your interest or mellowness on the dance floor.
9pm onwards We’ll continue with our usual open session of superb music and revitalizing dancing until 11pm and probably beyond. Bring along any new tunes or dance requests picked up or half-remembered over the summer!
Venue: Upstairs in Shakespeare’s Bar on Gibraltar St, S3 8UA. Bring your instruments and your dancing shoes, or simply your interest. All welcome. Suggested donation for workshop £5, but nowt if you’re skint
For our July workshop we’re offering a mazurka workshop to make ready for the summer festivals, with tips for both beginners and experienced dancers; come dance, come play
We’ll include aspects of leading, following, and improvisation, particularly paying attention to hips and middles, and give everyone a chance to a chance to consolidate steps and style. The mazurka is popular across France, Belgium, and beyond, including within the UK balfolk scene. It can be funky and fun, or mysterious and magical, but at its essence, it’s an intimate couple dance, with an intriguing lilt. We’ll include aspects of leading, following, and improvisation, particularly paying attention to hips and middles, and give everyone a chance to a chance to consolidate steps and style.
The workshop will start at 8pm, to be followed at 9pm by our usual open eurosession for tune offers and dance requests. The venue is upstairs in Shakespeares. All are welcome, donations requested.
May is a magical month and therefore this month we have not one, but two offerings for you! You already know about the Norwegians at Victoria Works on Thursday 2nd May, right?
It’ll be difficult to follow that, but we don’t want to miss our usual Thursday 9th back at our familiar Shakespeare’s.
So Susannah and Jo will be upstairs in Shakespeares from 8pm for a troubleshooting dance workshop. Bring any queries, complexities, half-remembered ghosts of dances, and we’ll try and resolve the mysteries, or just polish up your style. If any musicians are keen to try out your workshop-playing skills, then come and join us, and otherwise, we’ll see you at 9pm.
To be followed at 9pm by our usual open Eurossession. All welcome, with or without a donation of £5.