Virtual Dartmoor Folk Festival included traditional competitions

By Alan Quick   |   Editorial Manager/Photojournalist   |
Monday 16th November 2020 3:52 pm
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Shirley Bazeley presents Eleanor Pearce with her Dartmoor Broom Dance awards.

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DESPITE the postponement of the full 2020 Dartmoor Folk Festival in August, the festival’s traditional competitions and some fun activities went ahead on-line.

The festival was due to take place in the foothills of Dartmoor at South Zeal near Okehampton on August 7, 8 and 9.

Instead, on Saturday, August 8, the traditional Dartmoor Step Dance and Broom Dancing competitions took place via zoom.

The festival website: www.dartmoorfolkfestival.org.uk  included instructional videos on how to learn the steps for the dances.

There were many entries in both the adult and junior step dance and broom dance competitions, the broom dance for primary school age children only.

The competitions were organised by Matt Norman, Richard De Salis, Jenny Read and Lisa Sture, and they also acted as the judges.

Broom Dance winner was Eleanor Pearce of South Zeal and socially-distanced, she was presented with her trophies by the Festival President, Mrs Shirley Bazeley some days after the competition.

Junior Step Dance winner was Stanley Frangleton, also from South Zeal. Stanley was winner of the Dartmoor Broom Dance competition in 2018.

Adult Step Dance winner was Mark Cotgrove from Essex. He received his award in the post a few weeks after the competition and said on social media alongside a photo of himself with his award: "I received this beauty in the post today out here in furthest Essex.

"Many thanks to all involved in the festival and all the other very inspiring dancers."

The Festival’s Artistic Director, Mark Bazeley, explained: "We were very sad that the Dartmoor Folk Festival couldn’t fully run this year.

"Nothing can replace the great music, company and atmosphere of the festival, but we thought we could try and keep the wonderful step and broom dancing traditions running.

"Thanks to Matt Norman and Richard De Salis we took to the internet to enable the step dancers and broom dancers to compete from their own homes.

"It all went very well and we can’t thank all those involved and the competitors enough. They really helped us to keep the traditions alive, which is the aim of the festival."

RISE AND SHINE

Another important and increasingly popular part of the annual Dartmoor Folk Festival is the Children’s Festival which is directed by Entertainingly Different’s Rob Pudner.

Rob and a host of entertainers presented a free family friendly interactive children’s and adults show entitled "Rise and Shine".

There was music, song and dance as well as lots of jokes, stories, silliness, shout outs and fun.

Also during the weekend, John and Katie Howson, who run the Veteran CD stall at the festival each year, ran a virtual CD stall via the Veteran website.

The 43rd Dartmoor Folk Festival is due to take place on August 6, 7 and 8, 2021 and, all being well, will include a packed weekend of concerts, ceilidhs, workshops, song and music sessions, children’s festival, craft displays, folk service, Dartmoor ramble and much more.

Those who booked tickets for this year will automatically have their tickets rolled over or, if requested, full refunds can be made.  It is hoped that many of the artists booked for the 2020 festival will be able to appear at the 2021 festival.

For further details, please visit: www.dartmoorfolkfestival.org.uk .

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