NEW Dance & the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod (LIME)

The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod (LIME) is one of the highlights of NEW Dance’s calendar. This multicultural and joyful festival, featuring music, song and dance from around the world, takes place annually in the picturesque and historical town of Llangollen in north Wales, during the first week of July.

Sadly, as with so many other events due to take place this year, the eisteddfod has had to be put on hold for the time being. With the 2020 festival not going ahead next month, we thought we would cast our minds back to last year’s sunny celebration, and explain a little about how NEW Dance participates in this truly amazing event.

Credit: LIME Facebook

Each day of the festival has its own theme – past ones have included “Harmony in Diversity”, “Uniting Nations in Music” and “Exploring Peace Together”, and NEW Dance practitioners lead open access (public) dance sessions based on these themes for the visitors to the festival. Some will join in for a few minutes, others will stay for the whole hour, and some just like to sit and watch with a foot tapping to the music, but all have a fantastic time! Families, friends, school groups, and performing and competing groups from around the world all converge on one of the field stages and have fun dancing together.

Last year, NEW Dance saw approximately 200 people of all ages join in with our workshops throughout the week (including me, and my usual role at NEW Dance is at a computer, not at a dance session, proving that there is no correlation between dance experience and enjoyment!)

This year, the LIME committee have arranged a different way for participants, performers, visitors and volunteers from all over the globe to stay connected, while still staying home. In association with Rondo Media, the Llangollen.TV platform will be showing archive footage from previous years, with the audience able to vote for their favourite Eisteddfod moment in various categories, such as Mixed Choirs and Dance Competitions. Winners from each category will be announced each day during Eisteddfod week (7th-11th July). Why not get involved and vote for your favourite? Visit https://llangollen.tv/ – voting is open until 30th June.

In addition to this archive footage, new commissions for the 2020 Eisteddfod will include lines from renowned Welsh poet Mererid Hopwood, entitled “Heddwch a Harmoni: Byd gwâr yw ein byd o gân”.

Credit: LIME

LIME Artistic Director, Edward-Rhys Harry says:  “Normally at this time of year, everyone is working full speed to deliver the festival, and we have had lots of messages from participants here and overseas telling us how much they are missing us and the experience. In February, we held a wonderful international dance day family workshop led by NEW Dance, and it was so much fun that those who attended wanted more and we wanted to do more. We look forward to working with NEW Dance again and seeing you all soon.”

Here is a video of that international dance day, organised by LIME and led by NEW Dance at Tŷ Pawb in Wrexham.

Credit: Tŷ Pawb Facebook

The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, first held in 1947, has never before been cancelled in its 73-year history, and we know that it must be incredibly disappointing to its small army of organisers and volunteers to have to take this course of action, not to mention the tens of thousands of participants, performers and visitors who won’t be making the journey to the festival this year. NEW Dance are proud to be associated with LIME – we wish them all the best with their alternative celebrations for 2020, and hope that next year will be bigger and better than ever!

For more information about the festival, visit https://international-eisteddfod.co.uk/

Credit: LIME

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