On Bouge, est. 1990, is London’s long-running club for traditional dances and #Balfolk #Baltrad from toute la France. Come and join us!
Covid-19: All the rules have now been dismantled and we are now learning to live with it. And we live to dance and enjoy music!
HOWEVER, IF YOU DON’T FEEL WELL OR HAVE SYMPTOMS OF AN ILLNESS, PLEASE STAY HOME AND REST.
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#balfolk #baltrad #baleurope
We are now using WeGotTickets so you can buy your tickets in advance. We’re keeping this price at £10 (no extra booking fee) for the moment. Each On Bouge event will have a specific link to help you get your tickets easily.
We always have Live Music. The resident musicians Duo Mistral (Chris & Caroline Shaw) are happy to share their years of experience of playing and dancing in various French regions and will be concentrating on teaching or revising a few specific dances during the evening. And our lovely On Bouge Musicians are always there to play. We have a series of guest musicians in the coming months.
If you have some experience at playing for French dance and would like to play for us, please contact Chris. We want to keep up our eclectic mix 🙂
If you are beginning to dance these dances, please speak to us and we will help you to learn. But all of our happy dancers are happy to help get your feet pointing in the right direction. Crucially, don’t worry if you don’t get it right to start with!
Please bring drinks and nibbles to share. We always provide French festival freshly washed-up reusable plastic goblets. At the end of the evening we take them home and wash them up again.
Many of the dances we do are danced all over Europe, but we do like to shine a spotlight on dances from specific areas. Fest Noz, Balfolk, Bal Trad, Bal Occitan are titles used to describe what we do, depending on which bit of France we’re in. The accent is on dancing with fun, but we usually try and tell you about the context of the dances, fitting them into the cultural traditions of the various regions.
All dates are 2nd Fridays, except those marked *
- 14 October Anna Pack and Frances Watt play European folk dance music from the UK, France, Sweden and beyond. Their music will transport you to the dance floors of festivals across Europe. Both are seasoned performers and teachers at events specialising in this repertoire, and look forward to bringing their joy of French traditions to On Bouge! http://www.wegottickets.com/event/557906 (on sale from 18 September)
- 11 November Vivant! (Mark Prescott and Clive Williams) play seductive violin and melodeon music for dancing – music they’ve heard along the way from Stephane Delicq, Eric Theze and Toon Van Mierlo to traditional French dance classics. (Vivant! replaces Deux Sans Frontières, who will now play for us in Spring 2023.) Duo Mistral and our wonderful On Bouge musicians and friends will also be playing. Please bring drinks and snacks to share.
http://www.wegottickets.com/event/558702 (on sale from 14 October)
9 December Christmas Balfolk with Trio ZinZon Mel Stevens and Chris & Caroline Shaw play dynamic music for dances from Auvergne, Béarn, Bourbonnais, Brittany, Gascony, Quercy. Tickets on sale from 11 November. There will be Christmas Cake and Mulled Wine. Please bring Chrismassy drinks and snacks to share. https://www.wegottickets.com/event/558766
- 13 January Julian and Marcus Scott
- 10 February Bof!
- 10 March Deux Sans Frontières
- 14 April
- 12 May
We dance several types of dances from different regions of France:
- Bourrées come mostly from central France and are danced in a variety of ways. Most people are familiar with the bourrée droite, where you are in two lines facing your partner and the music is two-time (4/4) or three-time (3/8). Other bourrées are danced in couples or in groups of four or six people. Montagnardes are Auvergne bourrées danced in cortège while you slowly make your way to the top, towards the musicians, and then, like on a helter-skelter, you bourrée through the cortège and join it again at the bottom. There are specific styles of bourrée from Berry, Bourbonnais, Nivernais, Morvan, Auvergne, Limousin and Haut Agenais, with one or two local styles of bourrée elsewhere.
- Schottische, Mazurka, Polka and Valse are popular couple dances danced all over France.
- Breton dances such as Gavotte des Montagnes, An Dro, Hanter Dro are danced in long snaking lines which intermingle and diverge; Dans Plinn and Suite de Loudéac, and Rond de St Vincent are dance in circles (but at festou noz it ain’t always like that!). And we have been working on dances from Léon (north-west Brittany) recently, such as Dans Léon, Gavotte du Bas Léon and Dans Kef.
- Gascon dances such as rondeaux and congos. And the Rond de Quercy, from just to the north of Gascony.
- Dances from Béarn and Pays Basque (in the Pyrenées Atlantique) such as the sauts, e.g. Sept sauts, La Craba, Dus, Marianne. Danced singly in a circle, with springy steps, but still very much a communal dance.
- We also recently started to do Branles from the Vallée d’Ossau, Béarn.