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Dance Workshop

Now that the COVID19 situation has stabilized and life is returning to normal, it is time to take advantage of the opportunities our wonderful Grand Duchy has to offer. Whether you are a Luxembourgish citizen, a long time expatriate or a new arrival, it is time to turn off the TV, get off the couch and experience one of Luxembourg’s best-kept secrets.

The folklore group Vallée des Sept Châteaux is actively recruiting new members and will be holding a workshop to promote Luxembourg's rich cultural heritage. Located in Mersch, the aim of the group is to preserve folk dance as a form of intangible cultural heritage and to pass it on to future generations. The dances performed range from the middle ages to the 19th century and were danced in Luxembourg and in the regions that used to compose the former Duchy of Luxembourg. Most of the dances originate from the 18th and 19th centuries. Our dances are reproduced as authentically as possible, simultaneously encompassing tradition and appealing to younger generations with the modern slogan "Lët'z Folk”!

As part of our mandate to promote our cultural heritage, the group performs at local festivals, private events, in and around the Grand Duchy, and through our affiliation with the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts have participated a number of times in the World Folkoriada, most recently in Mexico (2016) and Korea (2012).

Full details of the group, including our photo gallery and dance repertoire (with videos) can be found here in LU, FR, DE and EN: https://www.folklor-mersch.lu/index.php/iwwert-eis/18-category-en-gb/30-about-us-article-gb

If the chance to be a part of this beautiful culture interests you, then the folklore group Vallée des Sept Châteaux is for you. If you are not yet convinced, then consider the benefits:

• Expand your social and cultural interaction, and provide an overall community feeling of well-being and togetherness.

• Improved fitness, strength, endurance, coordination, agility and flexibility.

• …. and if all that isn’t enough... it is a lot of fun ….. and we have great costumes!

Workshop Details:

Date: 17 October 2021 Time: 10:00 to 15:00

Location: Community Centre, 1 rue du Coin, L-7597 Reckange

Skills: You don't need to have the skills of Baryshnikov or Shakira to join, in fact no experience is necessary. The workshop will be conducted by experienced dancers and we will guide you as you take your first steps, literally, into a new world. As folk dance is normally done as a couple, we are seeking both men and women, and couples are always very welcome. Statistically it is the ladies who sign up for dance groups and it can be a challenge to encourage men to join, so ladies, if you could convince your partner or a friend to join with you that would be ideal!

Format: The workshop will be held in two sessions, each session will consist of introductory dances. The first session will run from 10:00 to 12:00, followed by a one-hour lunch break.The second sesson will run from 13:00 to 15:00. Depending on the number of participants the intent is to have a different set of dancers for each session. If the number of participants does not support this, then dancers from the first session can also dance in the second session. Since the two sessions will differ from each other, you can double your fun!

Registration: Interested participants you can double your fu can send an email to Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein! . Please provide the following information: first and last name, any experience in dance (any style) and whether or not you have been vaccinated against COVID19. If you are partner please provide the same information for him/her.

Preparation: This is a sport, so dress comfortably. We recommend light shoes like runners or dance shoes if you have them (in any case nonmarking soles ) Lightweight, stretchy pants and a comfortable top. A light sweater or shawl is also good for when you are not dancing. Bring water (or a refillable bottle)t to hydrate, and of course your lunch if you are particpating in both sesssion. Optional: a hand towel, headband or bandanna.

COVID19: The workshop will be conducted under COVID19 rules in place at the time. This could include checking for vaccines or a rapid antigen test (will be provided), distancing, etc. Details will be provided as the day approaches.

ABOUT US

The aim of the Vallée des Sept Châteaux folklore group from Mersch is to preserve folk dance as a form of intangible cultural heritage and to pass it on to future generations. The dances performed range from the middle ages to the 19th century and were danced in Luxembourg and in its neighbourhood: the regions that used to compose the former Duchy of Luxembourg. Most of the dances originate from the 18th and the 19th century.

The folklore group of Mersch aims to reproduce the dances as authentically as possible while reviving the traditions for the youth using the modern slogan "Lët'z Folk" standing for Lëtzebuerger Folklor.

The group was founded in 1952, on the occasion of a historical procession in Mersch. Since that time, Luxembourgish folklore has been kept alive by dynamic group.

Nowadays, the repertoire of the group has a repertoire of 25 dances and is rich enough to provide a diverse program for more than one hour. The figures and steps have been passed over from one person to the other, and the choreographies have been performed with slight variations from region to region.

Some dances, such as the Karschnatz or the Stréinen Hunn, were danced at country fairs. Others, like the Ronn or the Véiereckeg Maclotte, came from the court or the bourgeoisie. The dances incorporated everyday social situations such as flirting, love or even quarrelling – like in the Valse Rosse. The young men wanted to impress the girls and the girls wanted to seduce the men with their dance. Many of the dance names hide the origin of the dances themselves: Maclotte d'Hâbièmont or Contredanse de Bastogne, for example. The repertoire of the group also includes children’s dances, such as the Schleek or the Siwesprong, that are still practised in elementary school today.

The costumes are reproductions of the traditional garments worn in the 18th century and had been prepared on the basis of the research carried out by the historian Alain Atten. The one-piece coat worn by the musicians imitates the officers' uniform of the "Brotherhood of Young People" that was used in the rural areas, as well as by commoners.

The group's affiliation to CIOFF®, the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts, gave the dancers the possibility to visit the greatest folk festivals of the world held so far in more than 40 countries, as representatives of the oldest form of the cultural life of Luxembourg. In return, more than 35 nations (+8000 participants) gave guest performances in Mersch. Now the group is affiliated CIOFF® International through UGDA, the Federation Nationale de Musique du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg.

 

LUXEMBOURG IN THE HEART OF EUROPE

Luxembourg is a real "holiday country", with a pleasant climate, a beautiful scenery and a lot of wonderful castles, palaces and churches which have been restored in a specific style and with a lot of care. The network of well-marked walking paths covers the whole country, making it a joy to discover it.

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is an independent sovereign state, a constitutional monarchy, the ruling of which is hereditary in the House of Nassau. The present ruler, Grand Duke Henri assumed the throne in October 2000. He is married to Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg. The population of the country is about 640 000. One-third of the country, which has 2 587 square kilometres or about 1 000 square miles, is covered by forests. Geographically, the Grand Duchy is divided into two sections: the uplands of the Ardennes, a scenic region of hills in the North, and Guttland ("good land") with its rolling farmlands and woods in the South, bordered by the lovely grape-growing region, the Valley of the Moselle from the East. We can find the former mining district in the southernmost area of Luxembourg.

The country has three official languages: French, German and Luxembourgish, with the latter one being the colloquial language. Almost everyone speaks French and German, too, and more and more people speak English.

 

MERSCH IN THE HEART OF LUXEMBURG

The seat of our group is Mersch, the administrative centre of a community of 10 005 inhabitants. The village lies at the crossroad of tourist routes right in the middle of the country. It is considered the gate of the "Valley of the Seven Castles". The name refers to the feudal castles of Schönfels, Ansembourg, Hollenfels, Simmern, Koerich and the two castles of Mersch which are connected by forest walks through beautiful scenery. The landscape

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