World dancers celebrate 25th folk festival in Newport

South Wales Argus: Tredegar House Multi-Cultural Folk Festival
ON PARADE Polish dancer in traditional costume (6091294) Tredegar House Multi-Cultural Folk Festival ON PARADE Polish dancer in traditional costume (6091294)

DANCERS from around the globe united under one colourful banner as they marked the 25th Tredegar House Folk Festival.

A display of cultural diversity entertained the crowds as knife-wielding Gurkha dancers performed moments after Morris dancers on Saturday.

And a Belarus folk ensemble showed off their moves before an Appalachian group at a pavilion in the grounds of the 17th century mansion in Newport.

There was something for every taste from bluegrass banjos, violins, accordions and clogs, as hundreds of people flocked to the venue off Duffryn Drive.

Mike Finn, 63, a bagman with the Fox's Morris group from Cookley in Worcestershire, said: “It’s great. We came here last year. What a joy to mix with people from other cultures.”

The group’s squire Martin Devine, 55, said: “It is fantastic, the audience is so with us.”

Spectator Becky Booker, 30, said: “It’s nice to see different kinds of things. There is a real diversity.”

Her three-year-old daughter Freya added: “It’s lovely but I covered my ears because it’s too noisy.”

Visitors could also check out music stalls, buy garments and get food from the mansion’s coffee shop and takeaways.

Sue Webb, 50, said: “I like the mix of different cultures. It is lovely to see so many different dancers.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the Nepalese dancers. I really enjoyed the dancers from Belarus.”

Her friend Tony Keating, 52, added: “We have been here a few times. What is different with other festivals is that they don’t have a wide range of dancers.”

The folk festival took place over three days between Friday and Sunday.

Festival chairwoman Sue Oates, 60, said: “It is our 25th anniversary and it is one of the most colourful we have had.

“We’ve got people from Belarus, Poland, we have a lot of variety, we have made a special effort for the anniversary.”

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