Established 2023

Trad Dance Cast

Trad Dance Cast is a podcast about traditional dance artists, ideas and trends from across Scotland and beyond.

Produced by Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland and curated by Iliyana Nedkova and Wendy Timmons.

Hosted by Eleanor Sinclair, a trad dance artist, instructor and climate activist.

Recorded and edited at Recast Studio, Edinburgh by Jonathon Duncan, sound engineer and podcaster.

The music theme is Mason’s Apron Reel by Mairi Campbell, fiddle player, dance caller and theatre maker.

The visual identity features a portrait by the established photographer Barrie Spence of Vincent Hantam, dance artist, educator and choreographer.

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Episode April 2023

To Begin the Dance Once More

Released on Earth Day 22 April 2023, the first episode was inspired by Mother Earth stories from Egypt and Scotland as discussed by all five guests whilst shedding light on their involvement in the creative process of our first major screen dance production To Begin the Dance Once More. The conversation also explores how screen dance – an exciting and powerful genre of filmmaking predominantly employed in contemporary dance – could bring traditional dance to wider audiences and practitioners. The studio guests for the Trad Dance Cast inaugural episode are our screen dance curators and producers Wendy Timmons and Iliyana Nedkova, choreographer Vincent Hantam, storyteller extraordinaire Donald Smith and film director Marlene Millar.

EPISODE NOTES

  • THE STORY In the screen dance we see how the climate refugees Isis, Beira and Bride, whose lineage stretches back to their namesakes, the Egyptian and Celtic goddesses of Earth, navigate a world of migration, displacement and uncertainty created by the global injustice of climate change. Read more on our website.
  • THE TEASER We launched To Begin the Dance Once More teaser on the Global Day of Climate Action 12 November 2022 reaching out thousands of viewers on all our platforms. Watch it on our Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland YouTube Channel.
  • THE POEM We commissioned Beira and Bride – a new poem by Donald Smith, which we released on National Poetry Day 7 October 2022 as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories celebrating the bonds between traditional dance and poetry. Donald’s epic poem became the starting point for our screen dance reimagining the mythological worlds inhabited by the Celtic and Egyptian mothers of Earth, including Beira and Bride. Listen to Donald’s reading of the poem on the podcast at about 19.50 minutes in or read the poem on our website.
  • THE FUNDING Our screen dance To Begin the Dance Once More was one of the Creative Commissions for Climate Action Egypt funded by the British Council’s Climate Connection Cultural programme accompanying COP27 – the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties held at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
  • THE PREMIERE Our screen dance production made its big screen debut, alongside a live dance performance version entitled Dances with Ouds and Fiddles and a post-show Q&A with the creative team as part of our Pomegranates 2023 festival weekend celebrating international traditional dance at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh. Watch Dances with Ouds and Fiddles on our YouTube Channel (featuring Tianru Xu as pictured here).
  • THE SCORE The new music which we commissioned to underscore the choreography and cinematography of To Begin the Dance Once More is by the Scottish fiddle player and composer Jon Bews. Find out more about the creative process by reading Jon’s blog published by Traditional Music Forum.

 

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Episode March 2024

The Feisty Women of Traditional Dance

Released on International Women’s Day 8 March 2024, this Trad Dance Cast episode is a two-part series celebrating the role of women in traditional dance. In the first part of this episode, our guests Pat Ballantyne and Helen Russell share the legacies of several notable women and their contributions to the history of traditional dance. The second part is a blether with the contemporary pioneers Caroline Brockbank of CeilidhKids and the feisty Natasha Khamjani and Kerry Fletcher of Folk Dance Remixed (as pictured here by Krupa Chavda).
EPISODE NOTES
  • Pat Ballantyne is the author of Scottish Dance Beyond 1805: Reaction and Regulation, published by Routledge in December 2019. Pat’s work focuses on historical research of dance traditions and ethnology. In this episode Pat discusses the legacy of two women who contributed greatly to traditional dance in Scotland during their lives – the late Isabel Murray of Aberdeen and the late Betty Jessiman from Huntly.
  • Helen Russell was the chairperson for the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS) between 2016-2018. In this episode, recorded during RSCDS centenary year in 2023, Helen explores the central role of the remarkable women involved in the RSCDS history, including the founders Ysabel Stewart and Jean Milligan, the infamous teachers Elizabeth West and Isobel Cramb, as well as Angela Young.
  • Caroline Brockbank is a certified RSCDS teacher of Scottish country dancing who in 2006 established CeilidhKids. In this episode Caroline shares her own journey highlighting the role of women, including her own mother, in fostering the love of Scottish Ceilidh dancing for all – from the youngest to those with disabilities. Explore also Caroline’s presentation as part of our Autism-friendly Ceilidhs 2021 event.
  • Natasha Khamjani and Kerry Fletcher are the founding Artistic Directors of Folk Dance Remixed – a company based in the South of England, renown for its fusion of traditional and Hip Hop dance and live music. In this episode they look back at how they developed their unique remix of Maypole, Clogging, Ceilidh, Street, House and Breakdance with a hint of Afro and Bollywood… to a live soundtrack of fiddle and beat boxing.
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