Dance Courses for 2012
Participants will be able to follow two of the four six-session courses, two specialist and two general:
|General (2)||Jan Knoppers|
There are two separate General courses, both taught by Jan assisted by Richard. One will focus on non-partner dances and the other will concentrate on partner and set dances.
Update May 16, 2012.The (morning) General non-partner course is now full. We are therefore repeating the morning General non-partner course on the afternoons of Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday (we go on the excursion on Tuesday and film the DVD on Friday). Preference in the afternoons will be given to those whose first choice was the General non-partner course, but who could not get into the morning sessions.
There will be a number of short optional courses, run most afternoons — subjects and countries to be announced — as well as opportunities to offer workshops.
The course starts on Saturday evening, July 28th, with a social dance (registration from 1430, dinner 1800 onwards). Teaching is every morning, Sunday to Friday, with optional short courses and workshops in the afternoons. Social dances are held every evening through to Friday. The close is after breakfast on 4th August.
The course fee covers tuition, attendance at the evening dances, the hire of the dance rooms, administration, morning coffee, group photo and fees for the excursion. CDs and a DVD of the dances will be available at additional cost.
Teachers' Biographies and photos
Edouard Djololian/Gagik Ginosyan
Update July 24, 2012.We are very sorry to announce that Eddy Djololian, who was booked to do the Armenian sessions at the SIFD Summer School, has had to pull out due to a serious illness. It is very sad for us and especially for him. We wish him well and hope that he will soon be out of hospital.Gagik Ginosyan, from Armenia, has been invited to come to Swansea and has just obtained his visa. He is a leading ethnographer and leader of the Karin Folk Dance Ensemble which won first place at the 2011 World Folkdance Festival in Spain. Gagik has worked with leading researchers of Armenian dance and is a leading exponent of the "real" traditional dance. Not only will he teach a dance but will give a thorough background and history to it as well. We are delighted to welcome Gagik to Swansea.
Philippe Marsac has taught the traditional dances of south-west of France in workshops over the past 20 years. Since 2005, he has also led, with Pierre Corbefin, a class which combines dance and singing for Gascon dancing as used in "bals à la voix".http://sites.google.com/site/duocorbefinmarsacThe traditional dances of Gascony
In Gascony, the term rondeaux
is used for dances related to the branles of the Renaissance. In the Landes, often described as a country of the "rondeau en chaîne", the dancers continue to dance in the original formations inherited from branles (between ten and twenty men and women, with joined hands, shoulder to shoulder). Elsewhere, and under the influence of more recent choreography, the chain has evolved towards a formation of individual mixed couples spaced in a procession following a circular arc.
In Béarn (Pyrénées), the dances reveal quite strongly their origins in the old branles of the Renaissance. They have retained the name of branle
and, since the beginning of the 20th century, have been danced in an open circle able to accommodate any number of dancers.
The area in which congos
are danced corresponds, roughly, to that of the rondeaux, from which they borrow steps. Some congos do not use (or no longer use) the rondeau step and use instead a step similar to that of the polka. The congos are also characterized by figures whose choreographic elements (formation in squares, greeting, independent movement of the dancers, role of contra-partners) attest to their debt to the contredanse.
The couple dances
(waltz, polka, scottish, mazurka …) are found to some extent everywhere in Gascony, with local variations.
Philippe, a dancer, singer and teacher, will be sharing his knowledge of these traditional dances of his region.
Jan has been teaching dance since 1979. In 1983 he graduated from the LCA course for folk dance teachers and between 1983 and 1989 he studied at the Rotterdam Dance Academy (now CoDarts school for the Arts) where he graduated in 1989 in folkloristic dance, jazz dance and tap dance.
His involvement as a dancer and in later years as a ballet master with the Bulgarian performance group Praznik along with travels to Bulgaria provided the basis for many courses and workshops in Bulgarian dance. The Apple Chill Cloggers led him to Appalachian Clogging. His love of tap dance and show-dance developed into further study of styles such as Lancashire clogging, Canadian, Welsh and Irish dancing. A broad experience of Armenian dance led him to his latest great love: Asia and especially Central Asia.
Jan teaches workshops and courses in Bulgarian, Armenian, Irish, Asian and International Folk dancing throughout Europe. He has been the artistic heart of Theatergroep Radost in Delft for 30 years. Jan has taught at many conservatories and dance academies in Holland and abroad and has worked with future dancers, singers and teachers, as well as within musical theatre. As a choreographer, he has created many dance works for amateurs and professionals. He was Co-director of the Internationaal Danstheater in Amsterdam and co-founder of the International Danstheater voor de Jeugd.
Jan has a particular interest in teaching and teachers. Headmaster of 4 teacher training courses (LCA), guest teacher didactics and methodology, choreography and group dynamics, he was part of the testing and examining committee for 14 years. Together with Bianca de Jong he created a teachers' programme for outside Holland and personally delivered the system in Italy, Germany, Switzerland and England.
Jan has always had a great interest in singing, and his folklore-research in dance has led to an active interest in singing, music and performing. He became a Certified Master Teacher CMT for Estill Voice International in 2009. Jan says that 'his teaching experience enables him to jolt any group or gathering into singing, playing and dancing in an instant'.
Those of us who have had the pleasure of dancing with Jan at previous Summer Schools and courses will confirm this, as his energy and drive, coupled with the enthusiasm and skill of his teaching, is infectious. He undertakes everything with a fine eye for detail but teaches in such a way that learning becomes easy.
Jan will be teaching in collaboration with Richard van der Kooij, two General International Courses at the Summer School, one in couple dances and the other in non-partner dances. With his large and varied experience in dancing and teaching we eagerly anticipate his courses in Swansea.
Website at http://www.p-art-ners.nl/dance/nl
Note to International Dance Teachers
If you think you might be interested in teaching at future SIFD Summer Schools (which are held every two years) please send your details to
This will help us to build a database of suitable teachers for future years.