Tuesday, 8 December 2009
I discovered the gem that is Cecil Sharpe house about five years ago but it was only when I revisited it with a friend last summer that I really appreciated what it is they do there.
The building has housed The English Folk Dance and Song Society for over a hundred years and worked to record, develop and promote the folk music, dance, song and traditions of this country.
Being an Irish lady and growing up with Irish dance, folk song and tradition finding a place like this in the centre of Camden has been a revelation for me. As well as the relatively obscure folk bands that regularly play gigs in this venue they also have a wide range of traditional classes and workshops. They offer classes in Clog and Slovak dancing plus the opportunity to learn the Irish fiddle, banjo or accordion. The major jewel in its crown however is the library. It contains the most important concentration of material on traditional song, dance, and music in the country.
On October 31st 2009, Matthew Cowan, the current artist in residence at Cecil Sharp organised a procession on Primrose Hill. A twilight procession of disguised performers and musicians in traditional folkloric garb made it’s way from the top of Primrose Hill back down to Cecil Sharp House.
I filmed the event and I'm currently making a short film about it for the society.
Some stills above.