Prague Balfolk Weekend

19-21 January 2024

10:00 - 12:0012:30 - 14:3015:00 - 17:0010:00 - 12:00
StodolaBody clapDance game
ZámekContact improvisation*Your first balfolk sessionCross step waltzRelax, recharge, regenerate
DomečekSwing: 0 to HERO!Dance Improvisation5, 8 and 11-time waltz

* - registration required

Workshops are included in your festival pass. There will be something for dancers as well as for musicians. With the exception of Contact improvisation, there is no need to register beforehand, just come.

All workshops will be conducted in English.

Workshop Venues

Chvalská stodola, Na Chvalské tvrzi 3103/7 (the main festival venue)
Bus stop: Chvaly
The Chvaly castle, Na Chvalské tvrzi 857
Bus stop: Chvaly.
Use the main castle entrance and take the lift to the 3rd floor
Kulturní středisko (KS) Domeček, Votuzská 322/12
Bus stop: Komárovská or Divadlo Horní Počernice
(or a 2-km walk from the main venue)

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Waltzes in 5, 8 and 11

Augustas Černiaukas

During this workshop, Augustas will introduce waltzes in 5, 8 or 11. How to easily start dancing them, what lies behind the main step?

What is improvisation and how to adapt it

Augustas Černiaukas

The workshop would be about the feeling and how to find that feeling, how to start loving the dance, and how we can dance for 10 hours straight.

Without improvisation, there would be no communication among the dancers, the dance would be dead and very static. Improvisation gives the dance colours and new strength; improvising dancers develop their abilities to listen to music.

This workshop will be a bit like a laboratory. Augustas will share his thoughts and ideas, but also listen to other dancers’ opinion. Together, you may find new ways to approach this topic.

Augustas ČerniaukasAugustas, proud holder of several medals from polka competition, has been dancing for ten years. He has been teaching various dances since 2018. You might have met him at various workshops at dance festivals either as a teacher or a participant. He has been teaching Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Poland, and Switzerland. All his workshops are based on the same idea: what makes the dance perfect.

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Dance Game

Jean Freri

This workshop will be based on a dance game. We will play with yes & no, inviting, refusing… and more… dancing.

Jean FreriJean Freri started dancing in bals with "Les Balambules" in Toulouse. Exploring contemporary dances, tango, forro and contact-improvisation, he wishes his workshops to offer to anyone a way to find comfort and pleasure in solos, duos or collective dances

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Contact Improvisation

Jan Drahokoupil

Contact improvisation is a dynamic and spontaneous form of partner dance where connection is explored through touch, weight sharing, and shared movement. In this dance form, participants engage in a non-prescribed exchange of energy, allowing for a fluid and responsive dialogue between bodies. Rooted in trust and communication, contact improvisation fosters a unique social dance experience where individuals co-create movement narratives, blurring the lines between leader and follower in a shared exploration of movement possibilities.

In the workshop, we will focus on sensitizing our bodies, leading, following, and physical support.

This workshop has limited capacity! You will be able to register on Friday evening at the venue.

Jan Xen DrahokoupilJan Drahokoupil is a performer and a dancer with focus on improvisation and contemporary partnering. He leads regular meetings on Instant Composition.

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Cross Step Waltz

Alena Bialova

Hey, do you want something new? But simple enough to get you dancing almost immediately? We think you'll love сross-step waltz! CSW is fusion in the waltz family. It's a modern couple dance, whose parents are dances of the early XX century: Boston waltz, tango, blues and foxtrot. But you will always be able to find something different and personal inside. CSW was revived in the 90s at Stanford University, and today, it is danced throughout the world.

This workshop will be open also to people without the festival pass.

Alena Bialova

Alena Bialova believes that dance is very natural to humans and anyone can dance! Her dancing school in Krakow is the only one in Western Europe that offers regular cross-step waltz classes and there are already balfolk-fans of this dance in several EU countries!

In addition to CSW, Alena dances historical ballroom dances, balfolk, blues, fusion and tango, as well as Irish and Scottish dances. She is an organizer and DJ of various parties in Krakow, including cross-step waltz, fusion and historical reenactment.

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How to Survive and Enjoy your first Balfolk Session

Kieren Alexander

Members of the Prague Folk Session invite you to come and learn some balfolk tunes in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Have you ever wanted to join the musos but weren’t sure how to get started? Or maybe you’re a regular at balfolk sessions, and would like to come and share your experiences? This workshop will be all about learning and discussing how to enjoy playing music for balfolk, hosted by a collective of experienced musicians who regularly do so. All instruments welcome!

Hosted by Kieren Alexander of BAL LAB, Pavel Galushko and Olga Kuldina of Duo Cardamon, and other members of the Prague Folk Session.

Kieren AlexanderKieren Alexander is an accordionist based in Prague. He works with various folk projects, including Ethno, and has been running the Prague Folk Session for 10 years.

Pavel Galushko is a multi-instrumentalist from St.Petersburg, specializing in French, Nordic, Irish and other trad and BalFolk music. Never giving up learning new tunes. :-)

Olga Kuldina has been playing balfolk for 7 years, on a diatonic accordion, concertina and hurdy-gurdy.

Duo Cardamon

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Swing: 0 to HERO!

Mikuláš Bryan

Zero couple dancing. Shoulders. Elbows. Axis. Weight. Swinging your arms effortlessly for a better, more connected group dance experience. Discover the true magic of round dances and help share it with others. Join the one workshop that is often missing... but very much needed. Become a balfolk hero!

Attention: This is one long workshop with a short lunch break. If you want to participate, count with both the morning and the afternoon part.

Mikuláš BryanMikuláš Bryan has been sharing his love for dancing since 2003, with teaching experience ranging from small, focused workshops to classes for several hundreds people at festivals like Gennetines or Boombal. He studied folk dancing in Brittany, dancing and performing with Cercle Celtique de Rennes, but also took a deep dive into couple dancing at several blues camps. His other dancing background consists of tango, swing, salsa and balboa with occasional jazz and contemporary workshops. While approaching every dance with deep respect for its roots and traditions, he always aspires to expand its horizons and create a bridge between tradition and modernity.

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Body Clap

Cédric Hergault

Introduction to body percussion. Can you imagine your body as a musical instrument? Did you know that it's a mine of sounds, noises and percussion? During the "Body Clap" workshop, we'll discover the treasures of body percussion through a playful and collective approach to music, using sound and listening games to form a large percussion ensemble and build a musical piece that can be listened to and watched. Enter the sound, 1, 2, 3, Clappez!!!

This workshop will be open also to people without the festival pass.

Cédric HergaultCédric Hergault is an actor, singer, percussionist and dancer.

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Relax, Recharge, Regenerate

Natalia Klamann

The idea of the workshop is to offer a facilitated process of relaxation for both mind and body. During festivals, we often overuse our bodies, we cross our own boundaries and sometimes don’t give ourselves the possibility to regenerate. This workshop will be an opportunity to recharge the batteries, stretch the stiff muscles doing slow yoga, release the tension, practice bodyworks and give yourself and your friend a simple massage. We will also practice mindfulness relaxation meditation to ground ourselves in here and now and relax the mind.

If possible, bring a sleeping mat or blanket.

Natalia KlamannNatalia Klamann has been dancing since she remembers, exploring balfolk and traditional dances since 2015. She has a diverse dancing background consisting of oriental dances, contact improvisation, contemporary dance and tango. She is particularly interested in a somatic approach in movement inspired by the Body Mind Centering method. Natalia’s way of thinking and moving is also strongly influenced by yoga and mindfulness, which she’s been practicing for the last few years. She has graduated in a 1 year Course of Formal Mindfulness Practise. For several years, she was organizing one of the largest balfolk festivals in Poland, Numinosum Festival, and is also a co-founder of Chata Numinosum, a small cultural center that hosts regular balfolk and folk events in Warsaw.