About the Dragons
Tuesday, 9 November 2010
Practice starts at 8pm, out in the Emerald Room (it's the back room, or ask at the bar).
Last practice at the Clifton Hill hotel for this year will be December 7th, with the Christmas picnic in the Edinburgh Gardens on December 13th.
This weekend was our first Beechworth Celtic Festival and I very much hope it's the first in a long succession because we had a fantastic time performing for receptive audiences and watching some excellent dancers and musicians.
We worked hard for our money and ran a workshop, danced our usual processional number in the parade, did 2 x 40 min. stage sets, including a solo step clog demo, and busked on both days - lots of thanks to the handful of Ravens who added colour and numbers and stick and hanky Cotswold style. There's something about a chook with a morris dancer stuck up its bum that really appeals to a crowd.
The performance sets included brief workshops to encourage the audience out of their seats and we had a lot of fun teaching elements of Speed the Plough and Churchtown to some very cute little tykes and keen adults.
The availability of Bridge Rd Brewer's stock was a definite highlight of my festival. The Chestnut Pilsener was a welcome drop after dancing and the Beechworth Pale Ale went down smoothly later in the evening.
The leaf-shaped badges and earrings of a local jeweller were so popular with the rest of the side that we're now a walking advertisement for them.
We're looking forward to future festivals, with some possible joint performances with Violindigo students and hopefully one or two of the fantastic pipe bands we saw at the festival. Who could pass up the opportunity to perform processionals in the parade to a full pipe band?
Monday, 1 November 2010
A handful of us escaped Melbourne on Friday night to enjoy a balmy evening in the beer garden of the Seven's Creek Hotel, conveniently close to the caravan park we booked into overnight, with a further contingent arriving before the Wool Week Parade on Saturday morning.
The weather was kind and we had a fine morning for the parade, led by a contingent of Imperial Storm Troopers escorting Darth Vader, closely followed by the town band costumed as Princess Leia; every member with a different interpretation of 'buns' over their ears, and most of the children in town in Star Wars costume. Darth Vader even joined our set as we neared the end of the parade, processing and wheeling with us through a couple of choruses, light saber in hand.
The local kids danced about a May Pole in the centre of the street, weaving and plaiting their ribbons before we stepped up for our third set of the morning, finishing a great little festival we look forward to each year.
Thanks as always to the Benalla Caledonian Highland Pipe Band for playing 100 Pipers for us to dance to. It's a great thrill to have pipes and drums play for us and the effect is visible in our posture and spring as we dance.