27 August 2011: Museum Embankment Festival in Frankfurt/Main
For three days the city's museums formed the focal point of a mixture of food and music as well as art and culture – and we were in the thick of it with a small anniversary. Our fifth (!) consecutive display on the Frankfurter Bühne (City of Frankfurt Stage) and, at the same time, the third performance with a full-length choreography by Anselm.
After a wonderfully warm summer week the Saturday morning dawned typically Scottish with rain and cool wind. Appropriate for a Scottish performance, but not quite optimal (or, to quote Eva, »white-dress incompatible weather«), especially since we knew from last year's performance how quick a little rain could turn the lawn behind the stage into an impassable swamp. Therefore, thanks to the organisers, who used wooden pallets to try and create a mud-free zone near the stage entrance to protect our ghillies and white dresses. We also greatly appreciated our own »changing tent« with mirror, tables, and drinks. In former years we had to share the dressing room with various other performers, which always led to a certain amount of chaos, but this year the organisers had put up separate tents for the various groups. A welcome improvement, which made changing before and after our performance much less of a challenge.
But first – we had arrived, at the organisers' (the Office for Multicultural Affairs, or »AMKA«) behest, more than an hour before our scheduled performance – we listened to the »Blues & Beyond« matinee on the stage (very well played, if at a somewhat conversation-stifling volume level) and viewed a dance performance by a colourfully dressed Tamil children's group.And then it was our turn already! Right on time after a group from Sierra Leone (with awesome headdresses as part of their outfit) we were welcomed in the usual expert fashion by Ms Capelluti, and after a short introduction by Anselm our music started and we began the first triple of country dances, Capercaillie, Fill the Fetters, and The New Petronella (with Anne, Birgit, David, Jan, Marie, Petra, Ralf, Schorsch and supported by Eva and Werner during the first dance). This dance is a small reminder of our festival performance in 2007, where we danced the reel Petronella. The first highland solo, Scotch Measure, performed very elegantly and with playful ease by Dagmar and Anselm, also pointed back to 2007.
After that there was country-dance time again, with the centrepiece of Anselm's choreography, the middle part of our display at the 32nd Scottish highland games in Neu-Isenburg, which was – »never change a winning team« – once more performed by Birgit, David, Dirk, Eva, Petra, Ralf, Ulrike and Werner. The competent execution of Caberfei and Schorsch Lusky's Strathspey showed that a lot of practice hat gone into exact phrasing and covering.
Anselm's solo performance of a four-step Highland Fling started off the final part of our display. With two three-couple sets, Alan J Smith (also taken from the Neu-Isenburg programme) was followed by One, Two, Three Chicago and the furious finale of Mairi's Wedding. Happy and relieved we enjoyed the audience's loud applause, and while Anselm had another brief chat with Ms Capelluti we left the stage contendedly. A successful display with a strong team and an appealing choreography. 2012 Festival, we'll be happy to come again and are looking forward to it already!
Thanks a lot to Anselm, Anne, Birgit, Dagmar, David, Dirk, Eva, Jan, Marie, Petra, Ralf, Schorsch, Ulrike, and Werner for their dedication and enthusiasm during three tough special rehearsals, to Hanna and Heidi for performance support (videographing and valuables-watching), our very encouraging audience including in particular the »expert viewers« Chrissi and Peter with their baby, Karin, Antje, and Matthias R, Daniela and Matthias of the Mayence Narhalla Dancers, to the AMKA for the very efficient organisation on and off the stage, and last but not least to Anselm for the stirring choreography, for practising with the dancers, arranging the music and organising the performance.
Unfortunately, in the video the first eight bars of the first dance have been lost. The perspective is also a little unusual, owing to the large umbrellas that had been put up immediately in front of the stage. Thank you very much to Hanna for filming under averse conditions.