Monday, March 21, 2011

Australian Bush Dance: Newport Fiddle and Folk Club

Autumn is a wonderful time of year in Melbourne. The wind drops out and the heat fades. Festivals spring up in the regional towns and in the city.

At this time every year, in Newport, only 12 kilometres from the CBD, the local Fiddle and Folk Club host a classic event - the Aussie Bush Dance. The setting is an old blue stone quarry that has been carefully revegetated with indigenous plants. Now full of wildlife, wild flowers and tall eucalypts, Newport Lakes Park is loved and enjoyed.

This year over 300 people turned up for the dancing, singing, storytelling and bush ballads.

My Kamishibai, made by folk club friend Ted Smith, was mounted onto the back of my bike and so like the Kamishibai storytellers of old, I was able to ride to the park and work from my portable elevated stage.

Enjoy the pics of mate Dave Davies, a reciter of bush verse and the Newport Bush Orchestra or the BO or the Bush Orcs - they answer to several names!

And of course the dancing!

Learn more about the Newport Fiddle and Folk Club

I'm enjoying planning my festival and other public appearances for 2011 where I'lll be performing and speaking about the art of traditional oral storytelling and my work as a writer for children.

So much of my work is in schools and kindergartens but the following events are open to the general public.

Caroline Springs Library: Imagination Magic April 7
Melton Community Hall: Imagination Magic April 28
Education Week: 15 -21 May
Eastern Regional Libraries: May 17 (Ferntree Gully, Ringwood) May 18 (Yarra Junction, Healesville)

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