Posts Tagged ‘dance’

October session

October 20, 2018

There are five Wednesdays this month, so the October edition of our Galician session / foliada is not on the fourth this time, but as always on the last Wednesday, which is the very last day of the month, namely Wed, 31.10., starting from 8:30pm, at the James Street Tavern as usual.  (People at the Latin American session this Wednesday told me somebody asked for the Galician one and was disappointed to hear that it isn’t happening every week. I can relate to that … )

While we’re talking dates and diaries, the last Wednesday in December falls on Boxing Day, so I am running a poll on whether to have the session on Boxing Day (pub is open as usual), on the Wednesday after (2.1.), or on an earlier date to be confirmed (Wed before being occupied by the Latin American session, unless they decide to move, too, but I’ve asked the pub to keep the Sun 23.12. for us. Let me know which date you would prefer. Poll closes on the night of the October session, i.e. 31.10.)

Anyhow, in the sixteenth session in the new sequence, we’ll again play lots of lovely tunes from our vast collection of Galician traditionals, including of course A bruxa (the witch) for Samaín/Halloween. The Oxford Pandeireteiras will play their tambourines and sing some of the songs they practise in their weekly classes. Sheet music will be provided for anybody who brings an instrument and wants to join in (I also have a PDF file with 19 of our favourite tunes which I can email on request). Feel free to dance if you find space to move. A box of miscellaneous percussion instruments (plus cunchas!) is also on hand if you would like to rattle along with the rhythms.

Note that the Tavern has a 11:30 curfew for musical activities, so the  session will close before that time with the traditional anthem of “Fisterra”. If you don’t have to leave earlier, it would be nice if you could stay for that. The curfew also means that if we start late, we’ll just have less time to play music.

For further info about the sessions and sharing audio and video recordings of the tunes we play, subscribe to this blog or join the Facebook group. There is also a mailing list for email reminders sent a week before the sessions.


Other events coming up:

November, date TBC – Magosto. There has usually been a Magosto (chestnut party) celebration in November, organised by the Galician Studies Centre together with the Catalan Studies Centre, but as the new lecturer for Galician has only just taken up the job this month, I haven’t got confirmation for that yet.

Wed 28.11. Galician Session Oxford

December session, date TBC

29.12. -2.1. Folk Marathon Porto – As this year’s location for the annual folk marathon is geographically very close to Galicia, I should expect that there will be some Galician tunes played at the sessions.

… and looking ahead a bit:

August 2 to 11, 2019, Galicia will be the featured Celtic nation at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient.


Two muiñeiras

September 27, 2018

Two muiñeiras from last night’s session, with some dancing:

(the video is unlisted, so can only be found via specific links, such as this one, not by searches or random visitors to YouTube)


Galicia somos nós

April 14, 2018

lovely video combining hiphop choreography with the Muiñeira de Chantada, which is also part of our session repertoire (the version in the video is by Carlos Nuñez and the Chieftains). We’ll all dance it like that next time …

The lines recited at the beginning of the video are the tail end of the poem

Galicia, by Manuel Maria

Galicia é o que vemos:
a terra, o mar, o vento…
Pero hai outra Galicia
que vai no sentimento!

Galicia somos nós:
a xente e maila fala
Se buscas a Galicia
en ti tes que atopala!

BTW, Manuel Maria is also the author of the poem O carro, the song version of which is also in our session repertoire, although we haven’t sung it very often.

4th Galician Session London

April 6, 2018

a one-minute impression from the 4th London session which happened on March 21:



PS the tune is A camposa, I think ?



Flashback 1 of 4

December 28, 2017

As promised, here comes the first of four videos of Carlos Núñez at the special session we had with him in May. Here he’s not playing yet, but you can see him dancing towards the end of the clip …


How to dance the Verde-Gaio

December 20, 2017

Trying to figure out what the song O verde gaio is about (lyrics here) I didn’t have much luck until I put the Galician dictionary away and picked up a Portuguese one. So, it turns out that across the border, in Northern Portugal, the Verde-Gaio is a folk dance. Suddenly, the lines about falling and breaking bones in the second half of the first verse fall into place, as it were.

As far as I understood the instructions in the Portuguese edition of Wikipedia (there is no entry in the otherwise excellent Galician Wikipedia):  2 concentric circles, girls in the inner circle, boys in the outer, circles rotate, but couples also move inwards / outwards.

That’s still a bit vague, so here are some videos to illustrate various forms – both videos use our tune, although it is also danced to other tunes:






O merlo

December 13, 2017

David Carril and his lovely dancers have recorded a couple of videos, here’s the first:



We’re hoping to see them in Oxford soon, watch this space !

PS  Dots for the tune are in the Folkoteca Galega under the title “Foliada“. On that page you can transpose it to any key at the touch of a button. I have created a PDF of the version in D and will add it to the repertoire. There are also words for it (eg here, but a bit different from what we’re singing), so we might sing it at one of the next sessions.