FolkFest Dances On With Old, New Favorites

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Dance groups from around the world visit Middle Tennessee again this year for the 2010 International FolkFest.

Groups from the Slovak Republic, Curaçao and Italy will join our own Cripple Creek Cloggers June 13-20. Throughout the weeklong event, the groups will tour Middle Tennessee with several public performances.

“The Curaçao group will bring music and dance akin to South America, since their island is near,” FolkFest director Steve Cates said. “Italy is always a crowd-pleaser with lively dancing and an especially good band. Slovakia brings singing as well as dancing.”

This is the first time a delegation from Slovakia will visit during FolkFest, but Italy is a frequent guest and Curaçoa made the trip in 1983.

The Slovakian delegation will perform a variety of traditional dances from several regions across its country.

For example the dance from the Myjava Region in western Slovakia involves couple dances with jumping girls and women. The dance was originally performed to ensure a good harvest. Another dance, the Threesome from the Goral Region near the Slovak-Polish border has one man dancing with two women. In the dance the legs move quckly while the top of the body stays still calm and is accompanied by a fiddle carved from the wood.

The Italian group will bring its tradions from Lombardy, a region of northern Italy with “folk songs in ‘Bergamasco’ dialect and typical dances celebrating life style country people,” according to the group’s website.

The group’s traditional dances are very lively and often include props like ribbons, umbrellas, flowers, sticks and scythes.

Located off the coast of Venezuela, Curaçoa brings a rich folklore that combines Native American and European traditions. The group will perform traditional dances like the Waltz, Mazurka, Tumba and Tambu while playing accompanying music.

“We have a wide range of possibilities for seeing all four groups in various types of performance venues this year,” Cates said.

Form Manchester to Nashville and stops in between, the groups will perform many time for the public, not the least of which will be June 19 at Cannonsburgh Pioneer Village on Front Street.

“Beginning at 10, there will be shows every 30 minutes or so, with the last performance beginning at 4 p.m.,” Cates said about the final performance, adding the traditional exchanging of gifts will be at noon and many vendors will be on hand.

To learn more about each group, visit

Public Performances

Monday, June 14 at 7 p.m.

Nashville’s Centennial Park at the CTP Band Shell (Nashville International Folkdancers will also participate)

Wednesday, June 16 at 7 p.m.

Central Christian Church, 404 East Main St., Murfreesboro

Thursday, June 17 at 7 p.m.

Manchester Art Center, 128 East Main St., Manchester
Admission is $10/person Reservations at 931-728-3434

Friday, June 18 at 7 p.m.

Patterson Park Community Center, 521 Mercury Blvd., Murfreesboro
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $8/person

Saturday, June 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Cannonsburgh, 312 S. Front St., Murfreesboro
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