Dance Reviews

BUXTON DAY OF DANCE 2019 - Chapel-en-le-Frith Morris

As the day started drizzle in the Market Place soon turned into a sharp shower. But the showers were short and the sunny intervals dried us all and by lunchtime we were set fair.

Chapel-en-le-Frith Morris have worked hard and imaginatively to build support for this annual highlight and with each year new dance sides are attracted to this well organised event.

Among the newcomers to Buxton were East Kent Morris, who dance in the traditional Cotswold style. They are one of the Morris Dance sides to open up to all dancers - and not to insist on keeping a ‘men only’ practice. They say that there dancing is much improved as a result of the new dancers.

One of the nicest things about this year’s Day of Dance was to see how many mixed sides there were and how many young dancers there were. This was perhaps best exemplified by the spirited Border-style dancing of Bakanalia from Leicester.

Pateley Longsword brought something a bit different to proceedings. The nimble sword dances were familiar but the Basque Chicken Dance got lots of laughs - and was danced with great precision. Their waistcoats were a joy too.

The Ironmen and Severn Gilders from Ironbridge make an impressive sight and sound; a joint team dancing Border and North West Morris styles. A little more genteel were the ladies Cotswold team Chip Off The Old from Derby.

All-in-all 16 dance sides - about 200 dancers and musicians - contributed to a fascinating Day of Dance at half a dozen venues. Our grateful thanks to each and every one of them.

Keith Savage

HAVANA NIGHTS - Wallflower Dance

As a regular salsa dancer at Wallflower’s Thursday night classes at Buxton’s The Eagle pub, I thought I knew what to expect at their social for the Fringe held in the considerably more beautiful surroundings of the restored Pump Room.

However organiser Victoria Coultas had some delightful surprises in store with an exciting performance of samba and jive from juvenile dancers Chris and Lexie, both British National Finalists and 2018 semi-finalists on Britain’s Got Talent. They were quite exceptional to watch, dancing with spectacular control and really lighting up the room. The pair then encouraged us to have a go at some slow jive before we were entertained once more by adult couple Joanna and Simon who performed a languorous and slinky rumba as well as some lively cha-cha-cha.

With the help of some very refreshing Mojito cocktails provided by Monk Cocktail Bar, we were all soon on our feet to try some cha-cha-cha and dance the evening away with sultry salsa. Whether you were people-watching or dancing, this was a great way to experience a bit of Cuba in Buxton and I hope the Fringe Award-winning Wallflower will repeat the format on other occasions throughout the year.

Stephanie Billen