This year we welcome the following teams:
Meskajou, Brittany, France
Over the centuries, Brittany, a land of traditions, has cherished its Celtic heritage and the group MESKAJOU, which means a “mixture” or “variety” in the native tongue, can point to its name as evidence of the team’s wish to present the variety of dances and costumes that still exist in the region today.
Hailing from the north and the picturesque village of Trébeurden, each dancer is attired in a different historic costume and performs long-established dances, accompanied by traditional instruments. These are dances that are still very much alive today as the Bretons enjoy, each Saturday night, their ”festoù-noz” or evening dances.
This group’s aim is to continue to convey the Breton spirit through maintaining simple traditions. More information is available on their website: meskajou.free.fr
Den Ossaert, Holland
The team Den Ossaert, which is part of the larger group of HAVA NAGUILA, hails from the village of Vogelwaarde, situated in south-west Holland. The group was established in 1968 and today it boasts around 85 members and is the proud recipient of the prestigious Hulst Borough Culture Award in the Netherlands.
Den Ossaert use their own choreography to co-ordinate a sumptuous medley of different traditional dances that last for some 10-20 minutes, representing the breadth of traditional dances that date from 1700. The team’s band comprises enthusiastic musicians who accompany the dancers on the accordion, mandolin, banjo, guitar and a variety of percussion instruments.
A key addition to their performances is, of course, the beautiful historical Volendam costumes and clogs that are typical of the Hulst region, which rich farmers would have worn around the year 1800. More information about the group can be found on their website: www.havanaguila.nl
La Picouline, France
La Picouline hails from the village of Villard de Lans near Grenoble in south-east France and was formed over thirty years ago. Their purpose is to perform old traditions and the dances that were developed in the Dauphiné region, which were particularly popular in the nineteenth century.
More information about the group is available on their website: www.lapicouline.fr