Festival of Dance – 2017

Dance is a wonderful social activity and a vibrant element of our Festival program. The National offers both spectator and participatory activities and everyone is welcome to dance. No previous experience is necessary. There will be dancing!

Below is the current Dance list for the 2017 Festival. Further announcements will be made pre Australia Day.

Please note: The National Folk Festival and its Director reserve the right to alter the program and the acts as circumstances deem necessary.

web_actchinese ACT Chinese Australian Association Dance Group

Chinese traditional ethnic dances, interwoven with Chinese drama, martial arts, swords, fans, and umbrellas. This dynamic group dresses in traditional dance costumes to promote the Chinese folk culture of minority groups.


web_soon Adelaide Morris Men

Celebrating Morris Dance from the Cotswolds and beyond Adelaide Morris Men dance a combination of traditional and more modern dances from a variety of villages and across various traditions.

web_ausmorrisring Australian Morris Ring

This is the coordinating body for Australian Morris dancers performing England’s traditional folk dance. Morris is performed by a team of dancers wearing bells, and using handkerchiefs, sticks or garlands. Watch out for Morris teams appearing on the streets and also for displays and workshops.

Sunday 16 April 2:30pm – Piazza

Web_badwallaby Bad Wallaby

Bad Wallaby is a group of musicians who celebrate the unusual. With an eclectic mix of instruments and willingness to follow whichever musical paths take their fancy, they bring a unique approach to modern social dancing.

Web_billabong Billabong Band

Kick off the Festival with a rousing bush dance from Australia’s oldest bush band, the Victorian Folk Music Club’s Billabong Band. Our expert dance caller will present a program of dances old and new that will appeal to beginners and experienced dancers alike.

Thursday 13 April 8:00pm – Coorong

web_blackbear Black Bear Duo

Iain Mckenzie and Emma Nixon have joined forces to play fabulous Scottish music. Your spirits will soar and feet will tap when this dynamic duo, joined by dance caller Tony Northey present the Scottish Dance.

Friday 14 April 7:00pm – Coorong

web_bohemian Bohemian Nights

Bohemian Nights’ Ernie Gruner and Phil Carroll are joined by caller Audrey Fine to play for the Festival’s Klezmer Gypsy Dance, a mix of Gypsy, East European and Mediterranean circle and line dances. Fun. All welcome.

Sunday 16 April 4:30pm – Coorong

web_borderlinekaylee Borderline Kaylee

Borderline Kaylee performs regularly at the VFMC Ringwood bush dance, providing a great range of simple dances for young and old alike. They will play for the Family Bush Dance.

Saturday 15 April 5:00pm – Piazza

web_bortier Bortier Okoe (GHA/AUS)

Experience the dance moves, music and rhythms of West Africa with Ghanaian master musician, drummer and dancer Bortier Okoe and his ensemble. This dance workshop will show you the moves of West Africa and Bortier will share the tricks for freeing the body and mind to the beat of the music.

Sunday 16 April 6:30pm – Coorong

web_soon Bush Capital Band

The Bush Capital Band is the Monaro Folk Society’s Bush, or Australian Traditional Social Dance Band. Whether it be a rollicking woolshed dance or a formal social dance ball, we make it our mission to make dancing at all levels worthwhile and fun.

Canberra Scottish Country Dancers 1 Canberra Scottish Country Dancers

Canberra’s vibrant Scottish Country Dancers perform a colourful and lively display of dances that evoke the landscape, environment and settlements of South Australia and the Northern Territory, to music from Iain Mckenzie and Emma Nixon.

web_comhaltas Comhaltas Melbourne

Comhaltas Melbourne’s “Taste of Irish” will present songs, tunes and various styles of Irish dance. Marie Brouder’s introduction to Irish Set dancing workshop is aimed at learning Irish social dancing in a fun way for all the family. You can then join Marie and musicians for an Irish Ceili aimed at all age groups and dancing abilities.

web_dancekaleid Dance Kaleidoscope

From elegant dances of the gentry to the rough and tumble linked sword dances of the lower classes, Sheree Greenhill has 20 years experience sharing her love of English dance with both beginners and experienced dancers alike. Her passion is passing the dance on to young folk to experience and enjoy.

Djaawan Dancers Djaadjawan Dancers

The Djaadjawan Dancers reside in Yuin Country on the far South Coast and Eora Country in the Sydney region, NSW. This dedicated group of women and girls celebrate traditional Aboriginal culture through dance and song.

web_flamenco Flamenco Centre, Canberra

Inspired by Tomás Dietz’s’ passion, technique and emphasis on genuine expression in performance, the Flamenco Centre Canberra dancers share this complex and demanding dance with nuances firmly rooted in the Spanish culture.

web_jerryoreilly Jerry O’Reilly (IRL)

Renowned Irish Traditional Set Dance Teacher Jerry O’Reilly and his partner Rosie Davis will teach versions of a traditional set collected by jerry and the Brooks Academy, and a new set composed to celebrate the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

Saturday 15 April 10:00am – Coorong
Monday 17 Aprill 11:20am – Coorong

web_jumptown Jumptown Swing

Jumptown Swing specialises in teaching authentic dance styles from the 1920s to 1940s, including the Charleston, the Lindy Hop and authentic jazz. The talented and experienced teachers provide lots of fun and friendly dance taster workshops to get the Festival hopping.

web_jumptown Jumptown Jammers

Jumptown Swing specialises in teaching authentic dance styles from the 1920s to 1940s, including the Charleston, the Lindy Hop and authentic jazz. The talented and experienced teachers provide lots of fun and friendly dance taster workshops to get the Festival hopping.

web_melisan Melisande [eletrotrad] (CAN)

The multiple award-winning group from Québec presents a high-energy electortrad dance party with upbeat traditional tunes accompanied by a subtle programmed electronic backing.

Saturday 15 April 11:00pm – Coorong

Obsidian of Spellbound Bellydance_11465_12570_NMCF 2016 (651) Obsidian of Spellbound Bellydance

Obsidian of Spellbound Bellydance performs fusion bellydance, dancing to an eclectic mix of music and drawing from a wide range of bellydance traditions. Obsidian is well known for dancing down a darker, more industrial path, but are cheeky, colourful and fun when dancing in the light.

web_oldempire Old Empire Band

As Australia’s biggest social dance band the Old Empire Band has been making noise for nearly 30 years! Featuring musicians from all over Australia, and with a near fatal wall of melodeons, an OEB dance will excite and delight you! With guest callers, thrill to the wall of sound when they present The Big English Dance.

Friday 14th April 10:30pm – Coorong

web_oread Oreades Tribal Belly Dance Gathering

With swirling skirts, shaking tambourines and dazzling swords, Oreades brings together dancers from across Australia including local favourites Gypsy Dreaming and special guests from Ghawazi Caravan to entertain audiences with a captivating display of American Tribal Style bellydance.

web_pantarei Panta Rei

Panta Rei combines different forms of world-dancing into a new type of dance. Performers include drummers who produce driving Djembe and Tabla rhythms, together with musicians such as a didgeplayers, guitarists and flutists, resulting in a spectacular display of sound, movement and colourful costumes.

web_quanbeyanmacedonian Queanbeyan Macedonian Dance Group – Razigrana Makedonka

Razigrana Makedonka will be presenting an exciting and energetic display of traditional Macedonian folk dance. The young, enthusiastic performers will fill the stage with the strength, grace and rhythm that’s paramount to execute the dances inspired from different regions across Macedonia.

web_soon Red Raven Morris

Red Raven Morris dance in and around Melbourne in two major traditions—Cotswold Morris and Border Morris from the English/Welsh border country.

web_revontulet Revontulet Nordic Folk Dancers

Canberra’s Revontulet performs folk dances at a range of community events and festivals each year in authentic Nordic folk costumes. Active in Finnish dance for over 30 years, the group has merged with Linnéa Swedish Folkdancers and now draws its repertoire from across the Nordic countries.

Salmiakki Pelimannit Salmiakki Pelimannit

Australia’s best known Scandinavian dance band—Salmiakki Pelimannit (Finnish for Salty Liquorice Folk Musicians)—has been performing music from Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland since 1996.

web_soon sCanDans Nordic Dance

sCanDans, the Canberra Nordic Folk Dance Group (now 21 years old), has a repertoire from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland. It encourages newcomers of all ages and experience. The group is accompanied in displays and workshops by Newcastle’s Nordic dance band, Salmiakki Pelimannit.

Snake Gully Band Snake Gully Band

Snake Gully Band plays for traditional Australian bush dances, colonial and heritage balls. The band presents a graduated range of dances suitable for beginners through to more challenging ones for experienced dancers. Dance List Download (pdf)

web_sydneyenglish Sydney English Country Dance

Sydney English Country Dance are a joyful group dedicated to continuing and sharing a lovely tradition. They appreciate and perform traditional dances, but are primarily devoted to enjoying English country dance as a modern and developing dance form encompassing a wide variety of musical styles.

Sydney Irish Ceili Dancers_9294_8034_575917_10200389188464797_2061668032_n Sydney Irish Ceili Dancers

Sydney Irish Ceili Dancers began in 1958 and are a fabulous group of dancers dedicated to the preservation of traditional Irish dancing. With live music by Ann O’Donovan and the Ceili Playboys their displays are full a fun and great energy.

web_tango Tango Social Club of Canberra

Since the first tango was danced in Australia in 1913, this urban folkloric dance from Argentina has captivated audiences, musicians, and dancers here. A century later and the Tango Social Club of Canberra is here to showcase the variety of dances and music that make up the world of tango today.

Tony Northey Tony Northey

Tony Northey is a well known teacher and caller of Scottish country dancing. Tony is at home encouraging beginners and enthusing the experienced with the joy of the dance whether it be a workshop, a ball or a dance.

TSDAV Dance Composers' Competition_11537_12404_TSDAV Dance Composer's Competition TSDAV Dance Composers’ Competition

TSDAV has run a Dance Composers’ Competition since 1980. Patrons are welcome to come and try the dances to see if they agree with the judges! The dances are instructed, danced by you, and judged in this session. Awards are given for the best General Social Dance and the best Dance for More Experienced Dancers.

Wedderburn Charming Emus Wedderburn Charming Emus

The Wedderburn Charming Emus Traditional Australian Dance Band present a traditional Afternoon Tea Dance. The group has been involved in many NFF performances over the past thirty years. Join them for a toe tapping good time of non stop dancing.

Saturday 15th April 3:30pm – Coorong

web_zivana Živana

Živana is one of South Australia’s most accomplished performance groups. The dancers have performed together for more than 20 years and love dancing to the exotic rhythms of eastern Europe.

zumba Zumba ® World Dance Fitness

What a way to start your day! Zumba World Dance is a great way to keep your body fit. Join Rosie for a morning workout guaranteed to get you moving. Wear light clothing and gym or dance shoes.

Daily 8:30am Piazza

Please note: The National Folk Festival and its Director reserve the right to alter the program and the acts as circumstances deem necessary.