Cripple Creek Cloggers and their string band continue performances, workshops, and television work for the Folklore Festival"PARBEG LAIVELIS' in Klaipeda, Lithuania.
The troupe, composed of Steve Cates, Director; Oliver Shalibo,Musical Director; and Cornelia Overton, Dee Brown, Diana Greenleaf, Joe James, Ruth Suzuki, Michael E. Smith, Michael Graves, Scott McCurley, Luis Candelaria, Douglas Willard, Ann Mattox, and Donna Davis, are being housed in the Four Star Amberton Hotel and treated royally by the festival organization.
It is very unusual to have a group here from the U.S. and their appearances are greeted with applause and smiles by other participants, tourists and natives of Lithuania alike. Especially enjoyed by the audiences are the small U.S. flags and pins that the group distributes anytime they are in public venues. Of course, the U. S. and Tennessee flags are flying on stage for all of their performances.
On Thursday they performed four times, including a television interview on the public streets at 7 a.m. On Friday, they were interviewed for television again following a workshop which detailed for the public much about the history of their Appalachian-style square dancing with a clogging step. They also explained the history of their costumes and the musicians played and talked about their instruments and their musical tradition.
Friday's program will wind up with a gathering for all foreign groups on a ferry in the Baltic Sea. The sharing of music and dancing will continue there among troupes representing Russia, Finland, Poland, Hungary, and Lithuanian folk dancers and bands. The schedeule for Saturday and Sunday will include concert shows by all groups, two on Saturday and a finale on Sunday. Monday is departure day for all groups.
Meetings are also being held during this festival between members of the Murfreesboro-based clogging troupe and prospects for participating in International Folkfest during June 9-16, 2013. The 31 year old festival is able to continue primarily because of the travels by Cripple Creek Cloggers each year to festivals in other countries.Visits are being contemplated in the year ahead for Puerto Rico, Austria, and Slovakia.
For more information abnout Cripple Creek Cloggers, consult their website, www.cripplecreekcloggers.org.
All persons interested in joining are welcome and there is no charge. They provide training;prior clogging experience is not necessary.