IVFDF at Coventry, 2016. A letter from Set and Turn Single magazine, issue 99, May 2016.
Though there were few hiccups at the recent IVFDF (Intervarsity Folk Dance Festival) in Coventry, it was an excellent weekend marred only by some of the venues and a biting cold wind. We even danced in the Cathedral, courtesy of the Dean and Chapter, on a polished marble floor and with surprisingly adequate acoustics. In this unusual building the organisers had happily ensured we could hear both band and caller. We also danced in parts of the nearby Fargo village complex. Ventilation and heating ranged from zero to extreme and the floors were hard. Yet with such a selection of talented and fun partners, it didn't seem to matter. One room had walls and ceiling clad entirely in OSB (oriented strand board, a type of plywood). Off-gassing from formaldehyde based glue can occur - hence maybe the sore eyes and nasal irritation I experienced. The worst venue was probably in a modern hall - Square One at the Hub. Black walls and ceiling, a hard floor, poor ventilation, very dry air and with spotlights that blinded dancers in some places yet provided poor light elsewhere. It was awful and it didn't help that some of Bob Morgan's dances didn't work the first time through.
Dance workshops led by such luminaries as Colin Hume, Rhodri Davies, Richard Mason and Jeremy Child were simply brilliant. As dancers, we were pushed but maybe not far enough. The Advanced Contra seemed to me merely more interesting than usual. Richard Mason taught a new dance he had written at Gloucester Services on the way to Coventry - it was uniquely different, yet worked perfectly.
I came home wishing that the whole of IVFDF could be run once more so I could attend every event and dance with all the partners I didn't find time for the first time around.
Index page for STS articles and letters.
Top of folk clubs page - folk dance clubs in Devon (etc)
Gittisham Folk Dance club - the original website
Sidmouth Folk Festival - the history since August 2001
How to run a folk dance club - experiences over 15 years (most pages not yet completed)
Folk Dance Diary 2016 - highlights of a year of folk dancing.