Review, Cromer Folk on the Pier: Richard Davies memorial session

Richard Davies

Richard Davies

The traditional music, dance and song of old Norfolk was revived in fine style at a poignant memorial session during the final day of the festival.

Step dancer and festival helper Fiona Davies gives an impromptu performance on the pier.

Step dancer and festival helper Fiona Davies gives an impromptu performance on the pier. - Credit: Archant

Stepdancer Fiona Davies once again hosted a special afternoon in memory of her late father Richard, also a Norfolk stepdancer, who died in 2010 after being coxswain of the Cromer Lifeboat for more than 20 years.

The Sunday session at the Hotel de Paris attracted not only a good number of festival-goers, singers, dancers and musicans from all over Norfolk but also some of the weekend's booked guest performers who played along.

Fiona said her father had been a great supporter of Folk on the Pier and had always been anxious that it included a strong Norfolk element.

She explained that Norfolk step dancing had been adapted by local fishermen from the clog dancing tradition of workers from the north of England who moved to the local area to earn a living in the herring trade.

Fiona demonstrated some stepping and was joined by family, friends and complete beginners to try it out.

Music was provided by traditional Norfolk country dance band Rig-a-Jig-Jig – featuring hammered dulcimer, melodeon and fiddles – and other musicians who had dropped in.

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There then followed a session of traditional music and song including some Norfolk tunes which got couples up dancing, and traditional folksongs including some from Norfolk singers.

A full day of traditional dance, including morris, molly, Norfolk stepdancing, gipsy belly dancing, Appalachian clog, Portuguese and Polish dance is planned in North Walsham market place and at the town's Atrium arts centre on Saturday September 7.

Brian Gaudet

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