Folklore society showcases sponsored performers
by Lindsay Powers
Dance, song, storytelling and more filled Takoma Park Middle School during the Folklore Society of Greater Washington’s annual Mid-Winter Festival on Feb. 2.
April Blum, the festival’s coordinator, said the event, which has been in Takoma Park for at least the past 12 years, is a family winter celebration that allows people to “come out of the cocoon” and the organization to showcase some of the events it sponsors.
The festival, which attracted about 450 people, included two dance tracks, one with contra dance, which is “a little bit like square dancing on steroids,” Blum said. The other track included Jane-Austen-style English country dancing, tango and a Swedish schottis dance among others.
Singing groups, offering a range from 1950s and 1960s folk to Serbian and Croatian tunes, included The Chromatics — an a capella group whose repertoire includes science songs — the Irish Bog Band and The Capitol Hillbillies.
Among other varied and lively activities, the teen and pre-teen Twinbrook Tellers shared tales with audiences, and three sets of Morris dancers and singers performed.
Various workshops gave attendees the opportunity to jump in a dance or play an instrument, such as the “extravaganza” involving washboards, which Blum said can be used as rhythm instruments.
Blum said the festival provided so many things to see and do in multiple spots that people said they could not get to everything they wanted to.
“That’s my nefarious plot to get you to come back next year,” she said.
A special thanks goes out from Blum to Giancarlo Rodriguez, an “exceptionally nice” custodian who helped with the event.