On Bouge LIVE!

On Bouge, est. 1990, is London’s long-running club for traditional dances  from (almost) Toute La France.                       Venez nombreux!                 #Balfolk #Bal trad #Fest noz 


PLEASE GO TO https://www.facebook.com/onbougelondon/ AND SPECIFIC ON BOUGE EVENT PAGES.

FOR ADVANCE TICKETS GO TO https://www.wegottickets.com/onbouge

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! 


Nearest tube: Hampstead
For other possibilities, please consult https://www.heathstreet.org/contact/

Please email chris@gigcb.com to join our email list.

#balfolk #baltrad #baleurope

We are now using WeGotTickets so you can buy your tickets in advance. We’re keeping this price at ÂŁ10 (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 *

2022/23 Season

  • 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, BĂ©arn, 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 The New Year BalFolk with a wonderful duo, diato, cornemuse and flute, part of the well-known West Country group Venn. Bring drinks and snacks to share! There may be CAKE! Again! Facebook Event page      http://www.wegottickets.com/event/566789
  • 10 February   Bof! is a four-piece band specializing in traditional French and Breton dance music with Val Woollard (Bagpipes, Recorder, Flute, Desk bells), Simon Haines (Diatonic accordeons, Vocals), Phil Lyons (Acoustic guitar, Bass guitar, Vocals) and Breton singer Gwendal MoĂ«le. For 20+ years Bof! has played in folk clubs, for dance groups and at festivals in England and France, as well as organising regular French and Breton dance workshops and public dances in East Anglia. Please bring nibbles and booze to share. Facebook page  https://www.wegottickets.com/event/571103
  • 10 March   Deux Sans Frontières 
  • 14 April 
  • 12 May  Breton Dance Night


We dance several types of dances from different regions of France:

  • BourrĂ©es come mostly from central France and are danced in a variety of ways. Most people are familiar with the bourrĂ©e droite, where you are in two lines facing your partner and the music is two-time (4/4) or three-time (3/8). Other bourrĂ©es are danced in couples or in groups of four or six people. Montagnardes are Auvergne bourrĂ©es danced in cortège while you slowly make your way to the top, towards the musicians, and then, like on a helter-skelter, you bourrĂ©e through the cortège and join it again at the bottom. There are specific styles of bourrĂ©e from Berry, Bourbonnais, Nivernais, Morvan, Auvergne, Limousin and Haut Agenais, with one or two local styles of bourrĂ©e 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 LoudĂ©ac, 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 LĂ©on (north-west Brittany) recently, such as Dans LĂ©on, Gavotte du Bas LĂ©on and Dans Kef.
  • Gascon dances such as rondeaux and congos. And the Rond de Quercy,  from just to the north of Gascony.
  • Dances from BĂ©arn and Pays Basque (in the PyrenĂ©es 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 VallĂ©e d’Ossau, BĂ©arn.

For more information, and to join the email list, please email us on chris@gigcb.com and like us (or whatever the current term is!) at www.facebook.com/onbougelondon