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ExTra! exchange sessions

21-24 March 2008
Gannat, France


During the Easter week-end, the Association Nationale Cultures et Traditions organised a new edition of its traditional dance and music festival, “Massif Musiques & Danses”. Since 2007, this festival holds an ExTra! exchange sessions between traditional musician from the Gannat region and from abroad. Last year, the group Ponitran came from Slovakia and brought its colourful traditions. In 2008, six students from the folk music degree of Newcastle University had made a 15 hours bus and train trip to come and meet the young musicians from Gannat. The whole week-end, the Maison du Folklore resounded with traditional Scottish dances as well as various folk dances from the Auvergne.



The Internet is an unlimited space where musicians can put material at the disposal of a almost as unlimited audience quite easily. On Friday 21st March, Christophe Cuny, from the music information center austria, gave explanations and very pratical illustrations of the consequences of this significant evolution to a rather tenuous but enthusiastic/thrilled audience.

On Saturday, 22nd March, the festival proposed two workshops on the “bourrée”, a traditional folk dance existing, among others, in the Auvergne. Teachers Sarah Serec and Eric Elsener brought new techniques and hints and were also jury members of the bourrée competitions which finished the day, along with a prom featuring the winner of the Massif Musiques et Danses competition 2007, the folk group “Les Dégivrés” (“the defrosted”). A round table about the relation between dance and music, dancers and musicians, brought a theoretical background to the exchange.


On Easter Sunday, the traditional and folk music competition took place. The young musicians of the ExTra! session participated to the competition and enthused all people attending the event by their extraordinary performance of traditional music from the Auvergne, particularly appreciated as they got to know this regional music only two days before!

Cathy Geldard, Paul Anthony Vinton-Knox, Rachel Catriona, Ruth Ball, Matthew Jones, Carly Blain from the Folk Music Degree of Newcastle University.


European Music Council (EMC)