The Herivvarda Highland Dancers
The dancing group of Herivvarda District Pipes & Drums was founded in 1998 and initially knew a somewhat hesitating start. It was soon after that the rehearsals started to pay off. For instance it resulted in excellent results at national contests and successful performances inland and abroad. For a while the dance group was shut down as there were not enough dancers. Happily the dance group started again in September 2007!
Currently the dance group exists of three dancers, lead by teacher and leading dancer Kirsten Kerkhof. She is very successful in national and international contests and dances at Premier level. Only a handful of dancers perform at that level on the European mainland.
What is Highland dancing?
Highland Dancing is one of the typical Scottish dance forms. It's incomparable to other dance forms that exist around the globe. Even though it's the only one that shares the history with Irish dances, the match is more in the area of clothing and shoe wear then the dances itself.
Up untill ± 1900 Highland Dancing was a true mens sport. Women were strongly discouraged to exercise this form of dance. Only late 19th century the first women willing to exercise this sport arose. Many contest-organisations were dazzled to see a female competitor. But they thought 'what's not forbidden, is allowed' and so the first women appeared on the stand. Now, more than 100 years later, the ratio man vs. women is roughly 1 to 100…
The most well-known dances are:
This dance dates from the 14th century, although it's performed in its current form only since 2 centuries. This is the first dance a dancer learns. The arms represent the antlers of a red deer.
Sword dance Ghillie Callum
Perhaps this is the best known Scottish dance, where the dancer dances over two crossed swords. It is a victory dance that, according to the tradition, is danced by King Malcolm Canmore after killing his rival MacBeth. It also dates from the 14th century (in different versions).
Sean Triubhas to pronounce as [Sjan troes]
This dance dates from halfway the 8th century.
Sean means 'old' and Triubhas means 'trousers'.
This dance was invented in a time that the English victors disallowed the Scottish to wear kilts. The 'guilt moves' that the dancer makes with his legs represent shaking of the trousers because he prefers the freedom of the kilt.
Since there were women that wanted to dance, special women dances were created.
For these dances a different costume is worn. It is a friendly, simple dance that enables the dancer to put more feeling into the dancing.
Flora MacDonald's Fancy
After his defeat in 1745 on the battlefield of Culloden, Bonne Prince Charlie had to escape from Scotland. A ransom of £30.000 was put on his head, which was a huge sum of money in those days. He fled to The Isle of Skye where Flora MacDonald provided him a place of hiding. Later she dressed him as her French maid and smuggled him to France where he was safe. This splendid dance was created in her honour.
A dance that portrays the life at sea, including: climbing the ropes, searching for land and balancing a rocking ship.
The Scottish and the Irish were not always best mates. This dance mocks the Irish dance. The story tells about a 19th century laundry woman that puts her clean laundry to dry on the inclining Irish hills after a long day of scrubbing. A few hours later she checks the laundry to find that a bunch of rascals walked all over her laundry!
There are a lot more dances. Should you visit a performance you are sure to find out about them!