18 April 2017

Aussie volk

First up I wondered if I'd run into some religious sect, this being Easter Sunday and the dress being conservative and out of time. It certainly wasn't the Blues Club that I'd expected to be on at the Harmonie German Club that afternoon. But it turned out to be much more noisy and joyous: Volktanzfest 2017. It's a biennial get together of German, Swiss and Austrian folk dance clubs from around Australia, this year with a visiting group from Austria. How inviting and how much fun this was! It was the second day and I left 90 mins into the program that would go on to the evening, after many beers and lots of good friendly cheer. Plenty of slap dancing and playful claps; one bell ringing performance; piggy in the middle dances (the guy in the middle misses out on a girl so sweeps the middle with a broom until the next break of music); hints at Sound of Music (really this was mostly Eidelweiss but one group did the Farewell song from SoM); all ages, all sexes. As is generally common in any Australian dancing, guys were short so sometimes girls danced boy roles (some innocent non-binary here if not at the ANU). Some groups had their own band (mostly various accordions), perhaps with drums; some had recorded music; sometimes we clapped or sang along (Wooden heart, Eidelweiss) but this was mostly waltzes and, I guess, polkas. Lots of dressing up. I particularly like the guys' gear, the lederhosen and tassled hats, mostly decked out with multiple badges. I was told the difference between braids and plaits (braids are close to the skull). There was plenty of braiding in the audience in preparation for performance. [PS: after later checking the Net, I find no agreement on the difference between braids or plaits, if there is any difference]. So, no blues or folk festival, but I had a great time at Volktanzfest. The next one is Volktanzfest 2019 in Brisbane.

Volktanzfest 2017 (German Folk Dancing festival) was held at the Harmonie German Club over two days in Easter.

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