News

TDFS and Citymoves Traditional Dance Residencies

We are delighted to announce a new open call available to all traditional dance artists based within the North East of Scotland for two residencies co-funded by Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland (TDFS) and Citymoves Dance Agency SCIO, Aberdeen (Citymoves).

This is an open call to all traditional dance artists based in the North East of Scotland, of any cultural and ethnic background with a professional creative practice. This is not limited to ceilidh dancing, Highland dancing, Scottish country dancing or step-dancing but open to all international traditional dance styles, too. All applicants who can incorporate live instrumental or vocal accompaniment during their residency e.g. vocals, drums, pipes, fiddle, accordion will be more strongly considered. If not, a more compelling argument in your application will be necessary.

These two residencies will be held at Citymoves’ Aberdeen studios for one week each anytime between November 2022 and March 2023. Two applicants will be selected and will receive an all inclusive bursary of £500 each from matching funding pledged by Citymoves & TDFS. The selection committee will be comprised by representatives of TDFS and Citymoves

The call, although open to all North East traditional dance artists, requires applicants to be members of TDFS. This can be for those who are already members or those who join prior to applying here: https://www.tdfs.org/join/

The residencies will offer:

– One week of studio space in the Schoolhill Studio, Monday-Friday from 9.30-16.30.
– A £500 stipend
– Support from agencies during this week

From selected residency artists, Citymoves requires:

– An Open Professional Class on the Thursday from 10.00-11.30.
– An Open Studio Sharing of the work on the Friday of your residency

You are required to be a member of TDFS & able to create an end of residency blog or vlog report that will be published on TDFS website, so please keep this in mind when applying.
Dates should be chosen between November 21st 2022 – end of March 2023.

Application form can be downloaded here: Citymoves Traditional Dance Residency form _Final.

Please submit your application form and CV by email to: [email protected]
All applications are due by July 10th 2022.

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News

Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2022 – Open Call for Creative Proposals

Open Call for Creative Proposals “Interpreting Scotland”

Through the struggles of recent times, storytelling has been embraced as an art form because of what it offers to communities, families and artists at a time when human contacts and relationships have been under pressure.

What now for our personal and collective narratives? Help re-shape Scotland’s sense of itself in this Year of Stories.

SISF 2022 invites creatives within and beyond the storytelling community to join the Festival’s creative process by submitting a proposal on the theme of “Interpreting Scotland”, debating and shaping the stories that matter most for Scotland – past, present and future.

What:

Submit a creative proposal for a storytelling performance on the theme of “Interpreting Scotland” to be showcased at the SISF in October 2022.

  • Creative proposals must have a lead artist/producer who will be responsible for delivering the project
  • SISF Festival commissions typically involve one to three performers, and last between one hour and one hour 15 minutes. At least one performer must be a storyteller, either in a traditional or contemporary style.
  • Creative proposals should have a clear indication of whether the work can be presented live, or online, or both, as well as a clear sense of its audience.
  • The project’s description should be accompanied by an indicative budget, covering artists’ fees (highlighting any research, rehearsal and performance costs), production costs and other relevant expenses. If the proposal is successful SISF will work with you to establish an accurate and viable agreed budget.
  • We welcome proposals which celebrate and showcase artistic and thematic diversity and proposals from creatives not previously engaged with SISF.
  • We welcome proposals featuring a creative approach to Gaelic, Scots, BSL, or other minority languages in Scotland.

Ten performances will be commissioned, five of which may also be filmed. Five further projects will be supported as ‘emergent’, and presented as ‘works in progress’.

Who:

The lead applicant must be an artist living and working in Scotland.

Selection process:

Submissions will be assessed by a panel comprising the SISF creative team and two guest curators to ensure openness and diversity. All proposals will be given careful consideration and will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Artistic excellence
  • Celebration of oral storytelling
  • Consideration of diversity and inclusiveness
  • Viability and Cost-effectiveness
  • Achievable within the timeframe

The panel assessment will result in the selection of up to ten creative projects.

Five further projects will be supported as ‘emergent’, and presented as ‘works in progress’.

How to apply:

We have tried to keep this application process as simple as possible, please follow these steps:

1 – Fully complete the separate application form, with a particular attention to the budget

2 – Email the form to [email protected] titling the document as ‘SISF 2022 Creative Proposal *Your Name*’. Please also put the same title in the subject line of the email.

The deadline is 5pm on Monday 23 May 2022.

Open Call Application Information

Application Form

News

People and landscape of the Highlands inspire new musical work from fiddler Iain Fraser

Fèis Rois commission, Gneiss, to be performed in Dingwall, Poolewe & Ullapool later this month

A new musical work by fiddler Iain Fraser which celebrates the 30th anniversary of the popular Fèis Rois nan Inbheach (Adult Fèis Rois) will take to the road later this month, performing in the Highland locations which provided the inspiration for the music.

Fèis Rois commissioned renowned fiddler, Iain Fraser to record an album to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Fèis Rois nan Inbheach; one of the arts organisation’s key annual events which celebrates Gaelic and Scots music with a weekend of workshops, concerts and sessions. Iain, who was one of the original tutors at the very first Adult Fèis Rois, took his inspiration for this new album, Gneiss, from not only his time spent teaching at the Adult Fèis over the last 30 years but also the landscape, and in the particular the geological features, of the three places the Adult Fèis has been held in over the years; Dingwall, Gairloch and Ullapool.

Iain will be joined by a stellar line-up of musicians for this mini Highland tour, who also feature on the album which will be available to purchase at each of the performances, including; Graeme Armstrong (guitar), Gordon Gunn (fiddle), James Mackintosh (percussion), Calum-Alex MacMillan (Gaelic song and pipes), James Ross (piano), Wendy Stewart (harp) and Wendy Weatherby (cello) with visuals by Somhairle MacDonald.

The tour dates are:

  • Wednesday 27th April, Tulloch Castle, Dingwall
  • Thursday 28th April, Poolewe Community Hall
  •  Saturday 30th April, The Macphail Centre, Ullapool

The final night of the tour (30th April) will also form part of this year’s Adult Fèis, which takes place from 29th April – 2nd May, and taking to the stage that night, alongside Iain & co will be award-winning Highland multi-instrumentalists, Mairearad Green and Anna Massie. Booking for the Adult Fèis, is now open and places can be secured via www.feisrois.org.

Fiona Dalgetty, Fèis Rois Chief Executive, commented: “Over the past 30 years, the Adult Fèis has been held in the three Ross-Shire communities of Dingwall, Gairloch and, most recently, Ullapool. The number of participants in the workshop programme has grown from around 30 at the first event in 1991 to close to 300 attending now. The event has become a lively three-day festival with a number of concerts, recitals, pub sessions and talks accompanying the core workshop programme. It is enjoyed by the local community and by visitors from far and wide. It has been a pleasure to commission Iain Fraser to write a new suite of music inspired by the places and the people who made this Fèis event become what it is today. Tying together geology, culture and place, Iain’s music makes vivid the passing on of tradition and the nature of change, elements so central to Fèis Rois.”

Tickets for the Gneiss tour performances are priced from £10 to £15 and will be available at the venue on the night or can be booked in advance at www.feisrois.org. All performances start at 7.30pm.

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News

TRACS Traditional Arts Mentoring

TRACS is delighted to be delivering a programme of Traditional Arts Mentoring, with the support of Creative Scotland. The aim is to support professional development in the traditional arts through sharing knowledge, skills and experience.

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a process in which an experienced individual helps another person to develop goals and skills through a series of time-limited, confidential, one-to-one conversations. Mentors also benefit through sharing their own learning, evolving their thinking, developing new relationships, and deepening their mentoring skills.

Who can apply?

The Trad Arts Mentoring programme is aimed at early or mid-career practitioners in Scotland. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to work with an experienced traditional arts practitioner and/or tradition bearer on professional challenges and confidence, creative approaches, sources, skills, and working in community contexts. This will be a mutually supportive dialogue, respecting different backgrounds and learning styles.

There are 10 mentorship opportunities available on the programme. Two will be offered in each of the following areas:

Traditional Music
Traditional Song
Traditional Dance
Traditional Storytelling

A further two opportunities will be offered, linking one or more of these artforms with Gaelic or Scots as the main medium. This does not exclude Gaelic and Scots forming part of the other mentorships.

How does the programme work?

The Trad Arts Mentoring programme will run from June to December 2022. Sessions will be mainly online, with the opportunity to meet face-to-face when possible. Each session will have an e-mail follow-up to track discussions and identify or confirm fruitful topics for further exploration. There will also be opportunities to meet others in the programme to share experiences and ideas online and, if possible, in a live gathering.

TRACS has a growing pool of mentors who receive training and support, and we will seek to match people in the most helpful way. All participants will receive an induction to the programme and will also be supported throughout by Jo Miller, an experienced and qualified mentoring coordinator.
Those being mentored will receive a grant for expenses, including travel and accommodation where required. Mentors will receive a professional fee plus travel expenses and accommodation where required. For environmental reasons, travel will be prioritised within or between adjacent regions of Scotland. TRACS will seek to be as flexible as possible in these arrangements, within budget constraints, and subject to the continuing Covid challenges.

How to apply?

Applicants for mentorship are invited to apply by Monday 2nd May 2022 (this deadline has been extended until 5pm on Monday 9 May 2022), submitting a concise professional CV, and a one-page statement as to why they would like to participate in the Traditional Arts Mentoring programme. Please state which artform strand or strands you are applying under, and include a postal address, postcode, telephone number and e-mail.

Applications should be submitted to Donald Smith, Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland, The Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR, preferably by e-mail on [email protected].

For any further information contact [email protected] and/or David Francis on [email protected].

 

News

Pomegranates – Celebrating International Dance Day

Above: Pomegranates festival poster image courtesy of featured dancer Yilei Chen. Detail photograph by Feifei

An initiative of the Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland (TDFS), this pilot edition of Pomegranates starts with a professional development workshop featuring dancers, musicians, visual artists and storytellers at the St Leonard’s Land Dance Studio, the University of Edinburgh on 29 April 2022 10am-4pm.

Pomegranates culminates on 30 April 2022 5-10pm at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. This finale includes a costume promenade show at the Netherbow Theatre under the live accompaniment of Tom Oakes – one of the UK’s top flautists and multi-instrumentalists. It is followed by an energetic Ceilidh at the Storytelling Court. It is preceded by TDFS Annual General Meeting at Netherbow Theatre which features the screen dance premiere of the Pomegranates life drawing artist-in-residence Claudia Nocentini. Expect also a headdress parade in tribute to Ukrainian traditional dance artists, presentations by invited guests, a book launch and lively discussions.

Pomegranates festival is free to all TDFS members. Take advantage of this two-day festival extravaganza. Become a member today or rejoin at https://www.tdfs.org/join/. Subscribe to TDFS bimonthly newsletter here.

Pomegranates festival is a TDFS project curated by Iliyana Nedkova, Eleanor Sinclair and Wendy Timmons and funded by TRACS – Scotland’s National Network for Traditional Arts and Culture. In-kind support by the Scottish Storytelling Centre and Moray House School of Education and Sport at the University of Edinburgh through the MSc Dance Science and Education and DansEd. Additional in-kind support by the Bulgarian Cultural and Educational Centre Scotland.

Book your Pomegranates festival pass at www.scottishstorytellingcentre.com

Pomegranates festival poster image courtesy of Zeynep Aciktepe at unsplash

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Pomegranates is a Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland project funded by TRACS – Scotland’s National Network for Traditional Arts and Culture. In-kind support is provided by the Scottish Storytelling Centre and Moray House School of Education and Sport at the University of Edinburgh through the MSc Dance Science and Education. Additional partmership support provided by the Bulgarian Cultural and Educational Centre Scotland through the City of Edinburgh Council Flexible Fund

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Imagine Online: Watch 11 World-Class Storytelling Performances On-demand in Celebration of World Storytelling Day

This World Storytelling Day, 20 March 2022, SISF celebrates the traditional art of oral storytelling with the release of 11 world-class storytelling performances, available to watch on demand for a limited period. Audiences can purchase an all-access pass from 7 March 2022 for the launch on Sun 20 March 2022, including fully BSL interpreted versions.

In 2021 SISF extended an open invitation to storytellers, based or working in Scotland, to join the festival’s creative process by submitting a proposal on the theme of Imagine. The result is a series of new works developed by storytellers and musicians from Scotland and beyond, supported by the Scottish Government Festival Expo Fund. Audiences are asked to imagine something different. To imagine pasts, futures, or a timeless other. Festival visitors will be invited to dip into dreams and desires, old and new, lost worlds and worlds still to become.

Highlights in the Imagine programme include:

  • From Floor Sweeper to Climate Pioneer tells the little-known story of James Croll the Scottish janitor born into poverty and dogged by ill health who became the self-taught father of climate science. Using storytelling, props, film animation and historical interpretation, storyteller Nicola Wright will present Croll’s theories – which inform today`s study of climate change – and tell the story of his remarkable life to a family audience.
  • Mohan: A Partition Story is a moving, visceral and emotive storytelling performance by Niall Moorjani, which retells their Grampa’s experiences of the Partitioning of India. With first-person telling from ‘Mohan’s’ perspective, the story is interwoven with fascinating and, at times, haunting historical insight. An evocative and thought-provoking evening of oral storytelling, with accompanying live music.
  • In Oracles, Millennial woman, Sarah Grant, struggles to live up the legacy of her Grandmother, the “Oracle of Glasgow”: she who sees all, hears all, tells all. As a modern storyteller, Sarah tries (and fails) to translate traditional storytelling to see how it might work in places such as the family WhatsApp group chat, on TikTok, marketing adverts and many many more. How can the lessons learned at our ancestors’ knees survive in the digital world? Does the legacy of women passing down stories end with the current generation? Oracles is a story about family, legacy, womanhood and traditional storytelling, grounded in a mix of traditional storytelling and spoken word.
  • In Ladies Who Like it, storytellers Marie Louise Cochrane and Heidi Docherty imagine a world where women could tell and hear each other’s joyful, life- affirming stories about sexuality, shared with warmth, compassion and knowing laughter. With musical accompaniment and original songs from Suzanne Fivey they will host an evening of humorous, inspiring and informative contemporary collected tales about sex, presented for the wellbeing and inspiration of other women, and for those who care about them.
  • Legendary conservationist John Muir is celebrated in a new show by Richard Medrington and Rick Conte from The Man Who Planted Trees and storyteller Andy Cannon. They invite us to follow Muir from a window ledge in Dunbar to the brink of a crevasse in Alaska to find out what connects this conservation pioneer, a remarkable dog and an indigenous tribe clinging on to their culture and their land.
  • In Wolf Girl Storyteller Daiva Ivanauskaitė and singer Agnė Čepaitytė present the true story of Ingrid Ramm from Königsberg, a city that no longer exists. After WWII thousands of orphans from East Prussia travelled to Lithuania in search of food and shelter. These children are known as Wolfskinder. Ingrid Ramm was one of them, a lonely young refugee who fought for survival with the help of imagination, determination and luck. Daiva’s family opened their doors to the Wolf Girl. This storytelling performance combines fragile memories, fantastic tales and classical German songs – the ones Ingrid’s mother used to sing.

The above is just a small selection of the shows that are included in the ‘Imagine Online’ series, which will be available online this spring as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022.

Donald Smith, Director of TRACS said:

Stories and songs are vital for human survival. They carry our emotions, memories and values. They bind us together as families, communities and a nation, especially through tough times. On World Storytelling Day, we are proud to showcase the variety of storytelling talent that Scotland has to offer. 

Our series of festival commissions invite us to imagine different pasts, futures, or timeless others, to challenge what we know and create the images of what we are yet to discover.

The festival celebrates and supports a wide range of cultures, ethnicities, gender diversity and abilities all underpinned by creative collaboration that is integral to the traditional arts.

SISF Associate Director Daniel Abercrombie explains:

The Imagine performances were researched and developed with a lot of love and care over many months, so it was important to make these available to audiences who were unable to see the initial live shows. These online versions offer the chance to enjoy these stories regardless of where you are in the world.

Thanks to some additional funding we were also able to increase the scale of our digital production and were delighted to work with a team of incredible BSL interpreters to ensure the Imagine performances are accessible to d/Deaf audiences, which is an important step in making our festival more inclusive.’  

The ticket pass for ‘Imagine Online’ goes on sale 7 March 2022, with performances available to watch on demand from 20 March 2022. SISF will return in the autumn from 14-31 October 2022, showcasing both live and online events exploring ‘Scotland’s Stories’.

Imagine Online Pass

Imagine Online: BSL Versions

 

News

Young people will make music together once again in Ullapool this Easter

Fèis Rois na h-Òigridh returns for the first time since 2019

Innovative arts organisation, Fèis Rois, will deliver its first Fèis Rois na h-Òigridh (Junior Fèis) since 2019 this Easter and will welcome a team of top musicians and tutors to Ullapool for a week of musical activities with young people from across the Highlands.

After the last couple of years of cancelled live events being replaced by a successful series of online workshops and concerts, Fèis Rois, which is based in Dingwall, will be back in Ullapool for Fèis Rois na h-Òigridh, the annual music residential week open to young people in P4 – S1. Taking place in the first week of the Easter holidays, from Monday 4th – Friday 8th April, young people can choose to participate in three different classes each day including various musical instruments, Gaelic song, drama and art as well as participating in a range of cèilidhs, concerts and evening activities.

 

Tutors this year include a host of well-known musicians from across the Highlands and Islands, including; Gaelic singer and BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winner, Mischa Macpherson; Kinnaris Quintet fiddler from Tain, Laura Wilkie; Ullapool singer and artist, Kim Richards; Piper and whistle player with Fras, Angus Binnie; Gaelic singer and fiddler, Rona Wilkie; actor and drama tutor, Artair Donald; Highland accordionist, Amy Henderson; Black Isle multi-instrumentalist with Blazin’ Fiddles, Anna Massie; fiddler, Anne Wood; artist Kevin Morris; and Achiltibuie musician and composer, Joseph Peach.

Fèis Rois Chief Executive, Fiona Dalgetty commented: “After a difficult couple of years, with support from The Highland Council and Creative Scotland, we are delighted to be able to get back to Ullapool for Fèis Rois na h-Òigridh and are looking forward to offering young people a fantastic musical experience and hearing them make music together once again.

“With classes in fiddle, guitar, Gaelic song, clarsach, art, chanter, whistle, ukulele, keyboard, accordion and drama, we hope there is something for everyone! We are conscious that it has been more than two years since some children have been able to take up an instrument so we have lots of complete beginner options this year, as well as options for those who already play. Many of our tutor team are former participants of this event, which we hope will inspire the next generation.”

To encourage young people to take up a musical instrument, Fèis Rois is offering free musical instrument hire. Bookings can be made through EventBrite and there is a handy booking guide and FAQs available on the Fèis Rois website, along with all the tutor and cost details. Residential and non-residential places are available. For more information about this year’s Fèis Rois na h-Òigridh and details of how to book a place, please visit www.feisrois.org.

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School of Dàimh 1st – 3rd April 2022

Do you play an instrument but lack the opportunity or confidence to play with others?

Anybody ever found joining in on a high-octane pub session an intimidating experience?

Interested in developing your existing skills and breaking through to that elusive next level?

Maybe you are more comfortable in a different style of music but would like to learn the mechanics and subtleties of a traditional session?

Have you ever wanted to learn some Gaelic songs or sing the ones you know with some accompaniment or harmonies?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above then School of Dàimh presents the perfect opportunity to improve your session skills and repertoire with mixed instrument and singing workshops.

On the weekend of 1st April, Highland folk legends Dàimh will present a relaxed and informal atmosphere to learn, play and socialise with like-minded musicians and locals. Workshops by day, sessions by night. Food and accommodation available all under one roof.

Contact Arisaig Hotel for booking and all enquiries:
[email protected]
01687 450210