Sunday, August 18, 2013


Our local town Felletin is famous (well, slightly famous) for its international dance festival. This is an annual event held over a week in August when teams of dancers descend on the town and do their stuff. As well as providing an exciting spectacle, these dancers also provide a much needed boost for tourism which, of course, is good for local businesses.

Georgie and I nipped down there a few days ago and the place was packed. Luckily we found a parking place so it was only a short walk to the main square where we watched a long procession of colourful dance troupes being welcomed by a massed crowd. Each dance team did a five minute turn accompanied by their native musicians who knocked out a variety of sounds from drums, penny whistles, wood instruments and various other thingies. Most of the teams were naturally athletic and youngish which contrasted deliciously with our local participants representing the Creuse region. This clog-wearing team of gnarled geriatrics dressed in clothing from a bygone age danced their way across the square accompanied by noises from accordians, hurdy-gurdys and creaking bones together with rousing cheers from the home crowd. Excellent stuff from les Maurice danceurs.

Went down there again a couple of days later. The sun had brought out even bigger crowds. A Latvian, Lithuanian or Slav team (Moldavian, according to Georgie) were entertaining the masses in a street off the main square. Being somewhat vertically challenged, I couldn't really see their spirited moves but I could certainly hear their footstomping, ol├ęs and musical accompaniment. By the time I'd perched myself on a vacant bollard to get an excellent view, the show was over. Typical.

Caught up with them a bit later in the school playground next to the church where they'd linked up with the South Korean troupe. Kids joined in with a sort of international hokey-cokey while the appreciative crowd munched ice creams and swilled Coca-Cola as the aroma of chips wafted over from the busy cookhouse tents. A memorable occasion and a fitting finale to another enjoyable dance week. Hope next year's is just as good.