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What is Bal Folk?

If you are from Ireland or Scotland, or you have been to one of these countries, you might have heard about, or even been to, a so-called céilídh. Those familiar with French culture might have made their acquaintance with a bal populaire, or, indeed, bal folk. Hungarians might know the traditional Hungarian tanchaz. Whatever the culture, the general idea is the same: dancing on live traditional music in an informal atmosphere. As you would dance the quick step or the cha cha cha on an evening ballroom dancing, you would dance the schottisch and bourrée in France and Belgium, the jig and the hornpipe on the British Isles, or the polska and the halling in Sweden.

The Bal Folk as you can enjoy in Wageningen is inspired by the French and Belgian bals. There is virtually no Belgian folk festival without a bal, and the monthly Boombal in Ghent atracts many young people every month. In France, the annual Le Son Continu festival attracts hundreds of thousands musicians and dancers from all over Europe and the music goes on 24 hours per day, four days in a row!

At the Bal Folk in Wageningen you can expect a lot of French, Flemish and Walloon music, but also lots of Dutch traditional tunes and dances. The dances that will surely be present are the bourrée, schottische, mazurka, waltz, French jig, cercle de circasienne and an dro.