Jan 6, 2002
Folkmusikhuset, with the nickname Skeppis, probably is the no 1 place for many from Stockholm who are interested in folk music and dance. Probably there is also a number of visitors that have taken their first dance steps on it's boards.
It was rather long since we last visited Skeppis. When we arrived I was immediately asked to participate in the polske emergency room as a help dancer, which I of course willingly did.
I think this is a good snapshot of Skeppis, that builds on voluntariness and enthusiasm from it's members.
Later on, at the dance in the main dance room, I appreciated that there was more space for dance, as compared with some previous visits. Probably this was caused by the New Year's Eve holidays.
Jan 18, 2002
When we left the bus at Hemmesta Bygdegård we could sadly notice that the snow that we for two weekends had been enjoying now was almost completely gone. Fortunately we did not have to walk long to get something else to enjoy, namely a dance to Wermdö Durspelare.
The dancing floor was as on previous dances a little rough in the beginning, until it was cured with some coffee and, later, dance wax. Time runs fast when life is fun, and there was soon time for the coffee break.
This evening contained an appreciated extra performance in the pause - song and music. Conny was playing, I did unfortunately not catch the name of the singer. The song was mixed with singsong and co-operation from the audience.
As usually at these evenings the evening also contained a Finnish family schottishe, a dance we appreciate.
Jan 19, 2002
We were surprised at the entrance. It had moved to the back of the building. The reason was that the previous dancing room now was a wardrobe. It is understandable that it is needed because the whole room was filled with clothes from many visitors.
The dance had moved to the third floor, and later also on the second. The dancing room on the third floor had a waist between two rooms. The floor surface was a plastic carpet, that gave a dumb and harsh feeling. There was hardly no place to sit in that room.
When the orchestra stood in one of the end of the room it worked reasonably well. But when for example Nyckelharpsorkestern stood in the waist there was not much room left for the dancers.
We otherwise like Nyckelharpsorkestern. When they asked for wishes from the audience, the only wish they got was from two young girls that asked for an extra polka. It was inspiring to feel that also the young generation could feel the same inspiration as we for the gammaldans music.
At the second floor coffee was served. Behind the serving area there was a rather large room with space for both musicians, chairs and some dancers. This room had however a floor with a similar feeling as at the third floor.
We danced as much in booth rooms. Because it was more space at the second floor, that gave the best dancing experience. We did however miss the softer and more slippery feeling from the floor that now was used as a wardrobe.
Feb 1, 2002
Stallet had announced an event named Pub Knapsu, with entertainment and dance containing tango and humppa. As a precaution we had purchased entrance tickets in advance, which we encountered was needed when we arrived. There were no tickets left to buy at the entrance.
Pub Knapsu is an arrangement from Pajala, located in the northern Sweden, that this evening had moved to Stockholm and Stallet.
Knapsu is a dialectic word from Pajala, a word with negative meaning in Pajala, meaning men involved in activities that are not masculine.
We arrived in time for the dance instructions, which contained finish tango and humppa with very nice dance music, by musicians that we would see more of later.
After the instructions there were two rather lengthy scene shows. The first one started with singsong, and then continued with song, causeries and stories. The second show contained music and poetry.
It was after midnight when the dance started, with ring dance to humppa music. After that there was about one half our of dance, with gammaldans, tango and humppa.
Feb 2, 2002
After one hour's travel with the local train we arrived to Gnesta just before 6.30 p.m.. The dance was then already ongoing, so we did just throw us out into the dancing whirls.
The musicians where alternating twice per hour all the time until we left the dance at 10.30 p.m..
The dance was mainly gammaldans, but mixed with polskor and one or two engelskor.
The most played polska was probably hamburgska, but also polskor from Dalarna and slängpolskor were played quite frequently.
The coffee bar, that is located in the dancing room a few steps above the dancing floor, was open all the time.
It was a very nice dancing evening, with nice a dancing floor and varied dance music.
Feb 8, 2002
It was quite some time since we last visited Mälparingen, when we this evening were going there for instructions in tango and quickstep. The latter dance we had so far never come in touch with.
The instruction began with tango of "european" type. Before the coffee break we trained a small combination of progressive side step, a type of left turn and a rock turn.
After the coffee break we had a short rehearsal, and then we started with quickstep. With the limited time available we maintained to train basic steps and the lock step.
After one more repetition of tango the quite nice evening was rounded off with family waltz. We were impressed by how much we had achieved within just two hours of dance.
Feb 15, 2002
For the second time for a week (and a year) we visited a bugg dance event. This time Date should have played, but due to sickness Solo had replaced them.
The bugg evenings are announced as evenings with higher dancing tempo. My impression is however that the pace these evenings is not very high, it is rather the sound pressure in the ear drums that is high.
Personally I often feel that after a while I find bugg music monotonous.
But this evening I must admit that I found the music rather good. Some melodies were played in good jive pace, and the slower melodies in between were definitively danceable as well.
Feb 16, 2002
Stockholms spelmanslag had this time changed place to Hägerstensåsen, caused by increased hire at Musikmuseet. We do not know if it was caused by the increased travel time or that Magdalena this evening tried to win gold in OS, but when the dance began it was much space on the floor. The situation improved after a while. I am also sure that Magdalena would not have appreciated the glide on the surface, but after sweeping the floor and adding some dance wax the glide was improved.
My impression is that both the dancers and the musicians were unfamiliar with the place, but after a while liked it better. It was quite nice with the open doors at the side towards the coffee room.
In the pauses Marie Axelsson played, very expressive and nice, and it was as fun to listen as to dance to her music.
During the coffee break there was a discussion at my table about the social dancing, and why in some events pairs only dance together while in others they split up and dance with many partners.
This can probably sometimes be a reason for repelling dancers, especially those going to a dance without a dance partner. We discussed if this was more common where polskor are danced, and if so, what the reason could be.
The final impression of the evening was that it was a nice dance evening, that perhaps could be even better if we dancers strain ourselves to invite new partners more often.
Mar 8, 2002
This was our first visit to the Ljunglöwska room in Medborgarhuset. The room resembles the dancing place in Alvik. "Nya vänner" (new friends) arranged the dance, and Groovie Big Band were playing. Nya vänner announces it´s dances as suited for "mature youth", which we thought should be appropriate for us.
We did expect foxtrot, which also was included. But the evening contained bigger challenges, with Lindy Hop, cha cha cha, samba, tango, rock´n roll, modern waltz and - in a neck breaking tempo - gammaldans.
Mar 16, 2002
For the first time in many years - since the last dance with polskor at Yesterday - we again visited this very nice dancing palace close to Brottby. Arlanda Street Cruisers arranged Rockabilly with Hayden Thompson from USA, Jonny & The Roccos from England, Swedish Sonny Rogers & The Kingpins and Orville Nash with Wreckless.
The dance was announced to start at eight o'clock. When we arrived we were almost alone, and the orchestras were working with sound tests. We noticed however from the beginning that the style on the visitors was different compared with the dances we normally visit. Visitors did often wear skin jackets or skin waistcoats and a bear pot in their hand.
Just after nine o'clock one of the orchestras started playing. It was by then still plenty of room on the dance floor. It was rather cold, and as we had already waited for one hour, we started immediately dancing. A gang, mainly men, participated however without hesitation, with a dance that had some similarities with twist and that expressed booth sense and style.
As the dance went on more and more people participated. When we left at mid night it was still a queue of new visitors at the entrance.
The music was great rock music with rapid pace. Music with slower pace was rare, and even then not very slow. We danced mostly jive and jitterbug, and in this tempo our heartbeats were at the speed of a sewing machine at full speed. Other visitors were quite relaxed, some danced couple dances, other danced solo dance as we had seen at the beginning of the evening.
A girl commented our dance and told us we should go to the Rockabilly parties arranged in summer. She recommended www.envikenrecords.com and the dance event at Ökna. But, she added after giving it a thought, I had to do something to my clothing. When I asked in what way, she told me I could have a look at the pal standing behind me. He wore a skin jacket with a chain hanging from his pocket, jeans where the excess part of the legs of the trousers was folded back up towards his knees, and very pointed shoes. Further more, she added, I should do something to my hair. And, by the way, get a nice car...
The high pace in the dance, combined with the smoky environment, made us feel satisfied at mid night. Most likely the dance did proceed several hours after we left.
Apr 20, 2002
Stockholmia's dances once per season is eagerly awaited by many of us dancers. At the spring event many dancers visited, aiming for dance to Boda Spelmanslag. Both the mood and the temperature became quickly high.
About one half of the dances were bodapolskor, and the other half was a mixture of bingsjöpolskor and gammaldans. The night was rounded up with ring dance from Sollerön.
Apr 28, 2002
At the last gammaldans event for the season at Mälarsalen, Slagsta Gilles spelmanslag were playing gammaldans, and Gamla Polare with Ludgo-Pelle were playing three modern and one gammaldans. Both these orchestras were very nice to dance to.
It was announced that from this autumn the mixture would once again be gammaldans alternating with two modern and two gammaldans.
At the same time it was announced that Mälarsalen this autumn will celebrate their 30 years jubilee in late November.
While editing the video I watched many smiles, something that unfortunately is lost when the video is compressed for Internet usage.
It is very obvious for me that there are plenty that have had a lot of fun on Mälarsalen during these 30 years.
Apr 30, 2002
Walpurgis eve 2002 was crystal clear and cool. The first outdoors dance event of the season allured us to visit Skansen, with Looking Back Band on the scene and with a varied audience. Looking Back Band are looking backwards about 40 years, or in other words are playing music from the 60's.
As in the previous year, the dance floor was initially almost empty. But it took not long before it was filled up.
The public contained a mixture of young and elder, with different steps and styles but sharing the joy of dance.
A nice memory was that when I was filming at the scene, Ellika was invited to dance by a young girl. She explained that they were three girls visiting, and wondered if Ellika would like to dance together with them. As the previous year, the different ages and styles made this to a very nice and memorable event.
Jun 1, 2002
When it now is time to report from the celebration of Stockholm 750 years, with the dance party at the City Hall, it might be a convenient time and place for looking backwards. Unfortunately my own dancing horizon only goes about 25 years back in time. But 25 years is for most of us a respectable time as well. When looking back some events are always shining strong whilst other are falling back in memory.
Among my earliest memories are of course the dances on my first night dancing floor, which was at Folkets Hus in Sundbyberg on Fridays. These dances always used a schedule with 2 gammaldans and one modern as was common in GDV at that time, but with a local accent as the mazurka always contained three melodies - 1 common and 2 skånsk.
Among my earliest memories are also the dances at Björknäspaviljongen, where for example musicians like Johnny Soling, skilled Norwegian melodeon players and some at that time slim boys under the name of JP Nyströms were playing. I still remember the shock I felt when passing with the bus towards Värmdö an evening and seeing the smoke from the fire, that so sudden prevented a fight that I and probably many with me would like to take to preserve the building. There were by then communal plans for tearing this cultural building and replace it with apartments, and now the fire did the job.
Among my earliest dancing memories are of course also Skansen, where I and many with me spent five days a week during the summer months. During these evenings the dance contained mainly gammaldans, but with some tango on Wednesdays and some polskor other nights. Mälarsalen took for a period over the dances from Björknäspaviljongen, and on another place at this site there is an example of the excellent possibilities for dance that were available at that time. Some examples I can mention are the dances on Wednesdays, the dances on Fridays with for example Ransäterspöjkera, and my greatest favourites from that time - Orsa spelmanslag.
Orsa spelmanslag we also met later, with many wonderful dances in Orsa Hembygdsgård. But also the dances with Örjansringen in Alvik have left many nice memories in mind.
There are also many memories that are more random and unique. For example I remember a midsummer when we sailed in the archipelago and thought that it would be nice to dance on the midsummer evening. It was then we realised that looking for dance events on the old dance places is similar to looking for graves from ancestors from long ago. They are possible to find, but they seem to be relicts from a passed era. Possibly new music tastes with disco music and disco dance has created a feeling that a transistor radio and a nice smooth cliff by the sea is all that is needed. Sadly, it seems to be a fact that most old dancing places in the archipelago now are overgrown and belongs to history.
At another sailing trip towards Gryt, also at midsummer time, we noticed in Arkösund an announcement for dance in the neighbourhoods of Slätbaken a week later. We planned our return so we would be able to visit the dance. The place for the event was located some distance from the coast, and the sea map is not always the best aid for navigating on land. With young optimism we started off through the forest, with a compass in our hands and dancing shoes in the rucksack. After a while we reached a small road and a very rural environment, with birds as our only companions. After about one hour we reached a house, and were able to find a human. And yes, there was dance, but we had to head out into the forest some more kilometres along a small road. After some walking very alone in the deep forest we got a feeling that this was 'mission impossible'. Suddenly we could however hear music, and a small path between the spruces appeared and lead us to the dance.
The dancing floor was nice and slippery, and the dance was very nice. The retreat we started at midnight. The sun could already be distinguished when we through the fog veils could discern a young boy and a girl that were walking towards us over the field. The boy was wearing a wine bottle in his hand, and our meeting felt almost bizarre. A small hesitation in the step, a smile and a greeting was the only thing that what we exchanged in our meeting. I have afterwards been wondering what they might have thought about us, complete strangers and walking in the night out in nowhere.
On the other hand, we should have thought about that ourselves. With juvenile optimism we had started without much thoughts about the retreat. But we still had the compass, and when we could see our sailing boat at the cliff in the early morning sun, we felt just as comfortable as is possible after an enjoyable dancing night.
Another uncommon but very enjoyable dance that we remember with great pleasure is the dance to Norrlåtar at the Historical Museum in Stockholm.
I realise I tempt the patience of the readers, and will try to focus on the subject.
In connection with the EU Culture Capital Year in Stockholm occurred one more of these memorable dances, this time on the New Year's Eve in Kulturhuset. That evening offered everything that a dancer could wish for - Lindy Hop, polskor, gammaldans, salsa, samba, wiener waltz, tango, bugg, foxtrot... We had that night decided to try all the dancing floors available (and there were plenty!). I remember when we were working on using our previous skills for couple dances on the techno dancing floor, we could feel that we got a small but very surprised audience
At last we are now back to the Stockholm 750 years jubilee. I admit that Leif Kronlunds is an orchestra we have seen before, but I have not danced in the Blue Hall before, and on the next Stockholm jubilee we are probably not too interested any more. So without hesitation we took this opportunity for a unique dancing event, and this to a very affordable price.
The summer evening was very pleasant, but with a few clouds. We saw something we first thought was the public watching an event on the water, but we found out that it was the queue for the dance. While waiting for our turn, we could watch two very beautiful rainbows.
The evening started with a historic dressing show arranged by Skansen's dressing chamber, including some dance show. In the show clothing from the previous century as well as dresses used by parking guards and the bicycling messengers were shown. Probably this was the first time in history that a parking guard got a warm and enthusiastic applaud from a numerous Stockholm public.
The dance then began with music from Leif Kronlunds. We have danced several times to this orchestra before, but this evening was a very positive surprise. We enjoyed both wild rock music, classic ever greens and jazz. It was a very special feeling to dance in this mighty hall, with it's fantastic height and towers rising far above. The only thing I missed during the evening was a wiener waltz, it was something that I would have felt as perfect there and then.
During the night it was then alternating dance in the Blue Hall and Latin dance in the Golden Hall. We did only listen to the Latin dances from distance while cooling and resting a little.
During the second pass Jan Malmsjö and Pernilla Wahlgren were singing. Jan's voice is still going strong, and he sang many of his nice songs. But we found it a little difficult to dance to them. Pernilla did also sing many nice melodies, among others "Under the Rainbow" , which we found very suitable. But when she sang Mackie Kniven we had to face the fact that a tap variant of Shim Sham that we once almost had been able to execute to this melody now was lost. During this part of the dance it was tight on the dance floor, about one third of the dancing floor was then occupied by listening audience.
When we later walked down the stairs from the Golden Hall Ellika recalled that Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers always dance in similar stairs in their films. I have always been aware that a dancing couple that handy jumps over sofas and up on chairs and tables while dancing are better suited for dancing in stairs than me. When now trying I prioritised survival, but suppose that with some benevolence I can say that we have danced a few steps on the stairs above the Blue Hall.
The last hour with Leif Kronlunds was excellent, and when they finished their part of the dance with "Moonlight Serenade" and "In the Mood", it was just perfect.
The dance continued for about one hour with samba, but we felt very satisfied with the evening and preferred to walk towards our home in the beautiful summer night.
To not disturb the dance, only the small web camera was brought. It's eye is plain, this is what it registered.
May 21, 2002
Jun 2, 2002
Jul 21, 2002
Aug 14, 2002
Aug 16, 2002
... or Full speed with Benny Andersson's Orchestra (BAO)
Thank you, Benny!
In summer 2001 Benny Andersson's orchestra were playing at Galejan. We did not visit then, because the event was announced as a concert. Afterwards we were told that it had been a dance as well, and that it had been crowded but fun.
This year the event was once again announced, but this time as a dance. At the same time a separate entrance fee of 195:-. was introduced. We once again wondered if this single event was worth as much as a half season of dance on Skansen. The main reason for our hesitation was also this time if it really would be possible to dance, or if the dance floor would be occupied by a non dancing audience. We decide however to visit the event, and bought the tickets in advance.
This proved to be a fortunate decision, we were told that the day before the event all 2500 tickets had been sold. When standing in the queue we heard other visitors talking about the incredible enthusiasm and joy that they had experienced at this event the previous year.
And then the dance started. As we anticipated, a big part of the dance floor was immediately occupied by listeners, but there was still some room left for dancers. The second melody was a waltz, and to our great pleasure then most of the the listeners began to dance. During the rest of the evening, the area close to the scene was occupied by a tightly packed listening audience in perhaps four or five rows, while every inch of the remaining part of the dance floor was filled with dancers. And moreover, outside the dance floor there was a vast audience standing and sitting listening.
This dance is difficult to compare with anything I have encountered previously. It was crowded and the enthusiasm was enormous. Ok, often we were helplessly pushed back and forwards, but mostly it was possible to dance if done with care and utilizing all skills and any space no matter how small.
The music contained gammaldans, some polskor and some modern music. The sound volume was high, almost too high. But at least my ears registered the highest decibel level in the applause from the audience after the melodies. I could not help being astonished. No matter if the melody was something modern, Frykdals-schottis, The Dream about Elin or a mazurka, the dancing floor was as packed, the enthusiasm was as great and the applause as loud.
The only time where there was a little more space on the floor was when polskor were played, which fortunately made it great to dance them as well. The last melody before the pause was the first one during the evening I was not that fond of. When I told Ellika this she just smiled, she told me that that was the well known Abba melody "Ring-ring"...
The enthusiasm did last all evening, all through to the second extra melody. Possibly I however missed some spontaneity. Any one of the musicians - in total 13 + 2 singers - would probably have made an evening on their own, and I do strongly feel that many of them have more talents than were demonstrated during the evening. When Orsa spelmanslag - where some of these musicians earlier were active - tried to find an extra number many years ago, they then started to jam, which became a memory for life. This evening we could not feel that there was much unplanned music, besides that Perra occasionally neglected the programme and added an extra polka.
When leaving Skansen after the dance, the environment was also unfamiliar. It was more like leaving a football match. The public was lined up into long queues. I snapped a few comments from some, one expressing that this type of music was ´so fresh and expressed incredible joy', another that they would try to go this autumn to the dancing course they so long had talked about.
In other words - this was a superb evening!
Aug 22, 2002
For the second time we visited ÅrstaBlicks dance at Årstaliden. The weather was marvellous, as it had been all August this year.
Årstalidens outdoor dancing place is beautifully located, and we once again felt how well arranged everything was. Årstablick have now also built a skeleton above the dance floor allowing for protection of the dance floor and the dancers in bad weather.
The dancing audience was just over 200, and everyone appeared to get on with dancing to Zethzons (formerly Kvartersgänget).
When the mild and soft August darkness wrapped up around us dancers, a warm and pleasant lighting was turned on.
Oct 5, 2002
It is a pleasure to write about the dance that Sollentuna GDF arranged with Westlings spelmän in Rotebro. Outdoors it was very cold, with heavy winds from north east, but once indoors we got a warming welcome and enjoyed the evening from the first minute. Westlings were just as good as they always are, and the dancing floor was perfect. During the dance I felt as if my soles were caressed by the floor.
In the pause we got coffee with home made cakes - this was included in the very low price for the evening.
When the dance ended at eleven the dancers seemed still to be very alert and the orchestra got a very warm and long applause.
Oct 6, 2002
As we had no other activities planned this afternoon, we used the opportunity to visit Skeppis. We started with the tango workshop, which we find useful for keeping our tango knowledge. After a short coffee break we then participated in the dance instructions.
Then followed a very enjoyable hour of dance, with Saltsjöbygdens spelmän and afterwards with two accordion musicians who played some tango and foxtrot as well. We found the foxtrot well suited for practising swing.
Nov 11, 2002
Örjansringen celebrated their 30 years jubilee with dances in Alvik with a dance with Westlings spelmän playing.
Besides dancing one could also look back through the 30 years by visiting a nostalgic room, with placards with all the dances during the past years, and video shows from many of the dances.
On this special day coffee and cake was given away free of charge.
The dance was as enjoyable as usually, with nice smooth dancing floor, excellent music and danslekar in the pause.
We thank Örjansringen with our heart for all joy of dance we have experienced during the past years, and hope for many more years to come.
Nov 24, 2002
Mälarsalen celebrated their 30 years jubilee with three dance evenings. On Sunday it was a dance with Dalapolisens spelmän and Liljedahls with Ludgo-Pelle. The audience was asked how many that were present on the first dance 30 years ago. Several hands could be seen lifted. Ludgo-Pelle could also have lifted his hand, as he played at the first dance.
Since then many dancing shoes have been worn out, many couples have met and many enjoyable hours have been spent at Mälarsalen. This jubilee was another of these nice memories, a dance with a party feeling and plenty of good music. After more than five hours of dance our legs that should carry us home almost refused to do their duty.
Dec 7, 2002
Bas, Fiol & Drag arranged For the second time a dance at Midsommargården. The program for the evening was very varied, with activities that relieved each other twice per hour.
Bas, Fiol & Drag themselves were of course playing gammaldans. Modern dance was played twice, with foxtrot, swing, tango and some Latin American dances.
There were also a couple of sets with gillesdans, engelska etc., and also twice danslekar.
The evening was very varied and nice, and finished off with a fairy-tale in soft light and ring dance from Sollerön in the dark. We hope that this arrangement will reappear in coming years.
Dec 28, 2002
Wildfire Willie & The Ramblers were playing rockabilly and rock'n roll music in the 50's style. As always at these events the dance was mixed with some talking, old film sequences and dance to recorded music.
Svante Grundberg provided the talk and the selection of recorded music and film, the audience was mostly dancing. In the 50's, the dancers must have been extremely fit, as Wildfire Willies music was very wild and inspiring.
There were however also some melodies with slower rhythm, mostly well suited for slow Lindy Hop dancing. There was also a show during the evening with Crazy Legs, giving some chance to rest.
This was our first visit to the Nattsudd dance events. It increased our appetite for this arrangement, that was firstly introduced as a TV program late Saturday evenings some years ago.
Dec 30, 2002
Traditionally Örjansringen arrange a dance in Alvik in the evening before new year's eve. As the previous years, Leif-Billyz played gammaldans with a few polskor. In the pause there were as usually danslekar and one folk dance.
The dance was very enjoyable, with good music, a nice dancing floor and many visitors eager to dance and have fun.