By Lorraine Gibson.
A clog-dancing, step-dancing quintet is bringing a uniquely-exuberant style of traditional English music to a trio of rural Dorset communities.
Gadarene, described as a ‘hidden gem of the English folk scene’, will perform their high-energy blend of dance rhythms and old English tunes, combined with a virtuosic musicianship that is bound to dispel the winter gloom and get audiences tapping their trainers, if not their clogs.
Through Artsreach, the charity that brings cultural events to rural areas, the band will revitalise traditional numbers by adding their own ideas and modern dance grooves.
Drawing on genres like pop, rock and funk, the arrangements aim to fulfil their mission of taking obscure 18th- and 19th-century dance tunes and reworking them to get modern-day audiences up and dancing to them.
Weaving in clog and Dartmoor step-dancing, Gadarene’s sound comes courtesy of Matt Norman on mandolin, Laurel Swift on double bass and clogs, Jon Dyer on flute, Nick Wyke on fiddle and Si Paul on drums.
While touring Dorset, Matt is also offering the opportunity to join his Dartmoor Stepdance workshop.
The distinctive dance originates from north-east Dartmoor and is performed on a small board that emphasises the rhythms of the dancers’ feet.
The one-off workshop – for any level of dancer – is at 5pm-6pm ahead of Gadarene’s concert at Cerne Abbas Village Hall. Places cost £5 and advanced booking on the dedicated number below is essential.
Morden, Thursday December 8. Call 01929 459217.
Halstock, Friday December 9. Call 01935 891744.
Cerne Abbas, Saturday December 10, 07823 778758.