Participate in a Dance, and You Participate in a Community

Thanks to guest blogger Kathy Bruni for sharing this with us!

Many of the long-time supporters of Northwest Folklife are dancers, and the musicians who play for them.That’s why we go, and why we support the Festival year after year—dancing, dancing, dancing! That, and the connections we make with fellow dancers year after year. Folks flock to Folklife from Canada, Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, and many other states, including some as far away as Florida. We dance with one another, forming bonds that last a lifetime. I think it is safe to say that there are many couples in the dance community who met at Folklife. For me, dancing is a lifelong passion that provides exercise, social interaction, and a conduit to the elusive meaning of life. Music and motion in combination promote happiness.

Northwest Folklife provides a taste of the many dance styles the Northwest has to offer, including dances of the world (aka international dance), waltz, swing, contra dance, tango, polka, and more. These dances are accessible to just about everyone, and each of the participatory dances includes short lessons to get you moving right away. You might just get hooked!

Folk dancers have been part of Northwest Folklife since the beginning, and have helped shape it through the years. Since I started coming to the Festival in 1985, folk dance parties have been a major draw, with the Scandinavian dance one night, the Balkan dance another night, and the international dance a third night. Many more participatory dances have been added over the years, as the festival has grown.

The Center House Court is the scene for much of the participatory dancing, and that’s where you will find the International Folkdance Party on Sunday, May 27, from 2 to 4 p.m. Allspice starts the dance off with a mix of couple and line dances from countries around the world, including Sweden, Germany, Poland, Scotland, Croatia, and many more. It takes a lot of musical acumen to play tunes from so many different musical traditions, and Allspice doesn’t disappoint. On behalf of Northwest Folk Dancers Inc. (NFDI), Diane Vadnais will teach some easy dances during the band changeover; come and learn to do dances that you can immediately practice in the next set, when Opa Groupa takes the stage. Look for them to play a variety of dances from eastern Europe and the Balkans. Join us, and find out where you can continue dancing long after the 2012 Festival is over.

In addition to participatory dances, there are many dance performances to watch, representing a variety of cultures from around the world. In authentic costumes, often with live music, the performance groups offer a unique perspective into countries you may never have the chance to visit, but you can experience them at Northwest Folklife. Most of these groups are performing on the Center House Court, or on the International Dance Stage.

The Northwest Folklife Festival is unique because of the breadth and variety of entertainment, lessons, and participatory dancing offered on one site, for free. Don’t miss the opportunity!
Kathy Bruni

Kathy Bruni is the community coordinator for the 2012 international folk dance party at Folklife, and she has been involved in the folk dance community since 1975. She is the treasurer, webmaster, and co-newsletter editor for Northwest Folkdancers Inc. She and her husband are the dance leaders and teachers for a German performance group, Enzian Schuhplattler, and Kathy also manages publicity and is webmaster for that group. She is the editor and publicist for Skandia Folkdance Society, and the editor of the Seattle Folklore Society newsletter. When she is not busy as a technical writer, she spends her time traveling, writing, and dancing—she is lucky enough to have her hobbies intersect in the world of folk dance.

Maritime Musings: Maritime Music at the Northwest Folklife Festival

A hearty, salt-soaked thank you to (aptly named) guest blogger Alice Winship for this post!
This year’s Northwest Folklife FestivalMay 25 to 28, will have major maritime music events on Saturday and Sunday, with other maritime performances scattered through the schedule.

Maritime Show on Saturday
The annual Maritime Show will, as usual, be on Saturday afternoon at the Northwest Court, from 3:00 to 6:00 pm.  Performing will beBroadside and the Handsome Cabin Boys, Jon Barlett and Rika Ruebsaat, Piper Stock Hill,Spanaway BayThe Great Sanger and Didele, and Tom Lewis.  This is an impressive line up.

Dan Roberts will emcee the Maritime Show this year.  Philip Morgan, who founded the Maritime Show, has been emcee for over 20 years.  According to Folklife, “Philip has been a great guide this year but I believe that he may take this Festival off and return more fully next year.”

Following the Maritime Show, there will be a Maritime Sing-Along in the Northwest Court beer garden from 6:00 to 7:00 pm.

 

SING SEA SONGS ON SUNDAY

The next day, Sunday, Sing Sea Songs at the Intiman Courtyard from 4:30 to 6:00 pm.  The focus will be on familiar songs with easy choruses. The audience will be encouraged to sing along.  Leading chanteys will be Jean Geiger, Eric Nelson, Cassie Owens,Wayne PalssonDan Roberts, Pierre Rose, Marek Skoczylas, Stephen Whinihan, and Alice Winship.
Other Maritime Performances

Tom Lewis will be leading a workshop onSongs & Lore of the Seain the Intiman Courtyard on Saturday from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.

There will probably be some maritime songs in the sets of Bold Horizon on Sunday at 12:10 pm in the Shaw Room, and Coventryon Monday at 5:40 on the Northwest Court Stage.  This will be the last performance for Bold Horizon; the group is disbanding.
Maritime CDs
CDs by maritime performers will be for sale next to the stage at the Maritime Show on Saturday, and at the Folklife store all during the festival.  There will be at least two new maritime CDs available.
New CD from Piper Stock Hill
Piper Stock Hill, one of the bands appearing in the Maritime Show, will have their first recording out by then, titled One Pub at a Time.  It will contain six songs, three of which are originals written by band members.  Piper Stock Hill is a Northwest band that specializes in songs of Newfoundland.
New CD with songs about the Columbia River Bar
Maritime Folknet, a non-profit organization that released its first CD, Northwest Tugboat Tales, in 2010, will release a new CD at Folklife, Tales from the Bar.  It will be a compilation of songs about the Columbia River Bar.

The song themes include both the history of the Columbia River Bar, and the maritime activity that takes place today.  The Columbia River Maritime Museum is providing some historic photos for the CD artwork.

Some of the performers will be from the area near the mouth of the Columbia River, including Brownsmead Flats, Hobe Kytr, The Low Tide Drifters, and Willapa Hills.  Mary Garvey, a prominent songwriter from the Long Beach area, has written several of the songs on the CD, and sings one in a trio with Chris Roe and Sophie Morse.  Others performers include Kate Power & Steve Einhorn, Hank Payne, Cate Gable, Hank Cramer, Watch the Sky, Jon Pfaff, The Whateverly Brothers, Matthew Moeller,Chris GlanisterJan Elliott-Glanister, and Dan Roberts.

Victory Review keeps up with maritime music throughout the year:

For information about maritime music throughout the year, read the Maritime Musingscolumn in the online Victory Review, on the Victory Music website.

 

Alice Winship

About Alice
Alice Winship has been promoting maritime music events as an unpaid volunteer for various non-profit organizations, and generally advocating the cause of Northwest nautical music and maritime preservation, since 1996. She is the president of Maritime Folknet, a new non-profit organization devoted to encouraging maritime culture, especially music. She is vice-president of AKCHO (Association of King County Historical Organizations), and has recently begun dabbling in songwriting.

The Allure of Sista Hailstorm

Special thanks to guest blogger Kitty Wu for this profile!

Sista Hailstorm fascinates me.  She is simultaneously that rare emcee that commands me to stop and really listen, a shaka and malika in the Universal Zulu Nation Seattle and Los Angeles chapters, a warrior that recently smashed a marine at her last ring-style fight, a chemical dependency counselor for youth in the Central District, and a world traveler.  She has a strength about her that is first and foremost in her stance, and that duality and softness that brings you closer so you can feel her energy.  During our conversation last week she reminds me that she is also the original graffiti artist “LostOne” from Los Angeles, and when I mention the word lesbian, she gently corrects me…she is “an indigenous two-spirited woman bringing the balance of both male and female sunrays.” Indeed.

Alias:  Sista Hailstorm
Representing:  206 Zulu / B-Girl Media / Native Youth Movement / Rebel Alliance
Hailing from: NorthEast Los Angeles
Groups:  Murder She Wrote, Projekt Medicine Wheels

kw:  In the beginning…

SH: I left home at 14 spent most of my time gang bangin, sellin dope, beefin and trying to survive and make it out alive. It was true for me I was either gonna end up in prison or die a victim of the streets in this f*cked up society, the only thing I had was Graffitti, Hip Hop and my culture my people who were struggling just like me.  I wasn’t alone but at the same time I was lost in the concrete jungles and my street art and street smarts bombing, taggin, freestylin n flowing is what gave me a voice and made me feel like someone was out there hearing and seeing my message. Like a lot of Graff writers it’s not just bout the fame but marking your turf and showing yourself you could do it better then the rest “Like that’s right I caught that heaven over that freeway” and most cats thinking I was a dude until they met me and was like what you’re “LostOne” you’re a chic I see you up everywhere I thought you were a dude.” I’m like nah homie I’m a chic and I’m putting in work even more then some of these dudes haha. People respected that I was Woman and holdin it down just as hard as a brother would and I had MAD STEEZ.

kw:  This is our 5th Zulu Jam Folklife Edition and although you have performed with other performers this is the first time that you are being featured as a solo artist on stage at Folklife…what are you bringing to festival this year?

SH:  This year like every other year I ain’t holdin back.  I speak the truth and I walk what I talk. Hip Hop and graffiti saved my life and all I’m doing is opening up the doors for our youth who haven’t experienced real Hip Hop, helping them understand they are a powerful voice in the community and can express themselves through all the elements of HIPHOP the root of our young people today and of course our founding men and women of the HIP HOP CULTURE ONE UP IN RESISTANCE AND SOLIDARITY TIAHUI. You see, you have a lot of wack rappers in the game getting fame and highlighting their names but don’t even know the History/Herstory of how it all began and what it took back then and now to make it a infinite universal culture. Wherever you go in the world Hip Hop is there and alive.

You can see Sista Hailstorm at the 206 Zulu show at the Vera Project on Sunday, May 27th 3-6pm w/ Central Intelligence, The League of Extraordinary Emcees, NW B-Girls.  Hosted by King Khazm & DJ Shonuph.

Be on the lookout for a (currently untitled) feature album with the lead single Angels in the Skies & an upcoming mixtape from B-Girl Media & Project Blowed in 2012.

 

About Kitty Wu
As a teen growing up on the Eastside, Kitty Wu started attending shows in Seattle in 1987–and hasn’t been able to quit the habit. A pillar of Seattle’s electronica and hip-hop media scenes since the mid ’90s, Kitty now handles all things administrative for the Hip Hop TV show Coolout Network -celebrating its 21st anniversary in 2012- and serves on the Board of Directors of the award-winning local chapter of the Universal Zulu Nation and Seattle’s much loved all-ages music organization The Vera Project.

206Zulu.com
theVeraProject.org