Norwegian dance is primarily social in nature. Traditionally,
these dances were done for fun at ordinary parties and at more formal
festive occasions, such as weddings, Christmas gatherings, or Midsummer.
The dances include four main categories: regional dances (bygdedansar),
figure or set dances (turdansar), old-time social dances (gammeldans),
and song dances (songdansar).
Bygdedansar are very old couple dances
in 3/4 or 2/4 rhythm, danced in a free style similar to traditional
ballroom dancing in this country.
The turdansar are pattern dances,
often for a specific number of dancers. Their formation can be longways
sets, squares, big circles, or individual
couples. These dances have specific figures in a set sequence to specific
music. Many of them are similar to equivalent dances in other parts
Gammeldans includes various
forms of reinlenders (or schottisches), polkas, waltzes, and mazurkas.
The primary social
dances in Norway
during the 1800’s, these are still seen today in some social
settings, mixed in with swing and foxtrot.
Song dances include singing
games that date back to the 1800’s
or before, as well as dances set to traditional songs by Hulda Garborg
in the early Twentieth Century.
At the Festival, we will teach primarily
gammeldans and turdans, and possibly a song dance or two.