May Heydays at Evesham is the relocated and renamed Eastbourne International Folkdance Festival (EIFF). After 44 years at Eastbourne, we needed to move because of the difficulties posed by having three venues at some distance from each other.
Our extensive English programme of workshops and dances offers modern and historical dance (including Playford and other styles and eras) with a variety of live bands from England and/or the States. In 2019 Eastbourne started offering two English Balls for which dancers were invited (but not obliged) to wear historical costume or formal dress. For our first event post-Covid we had just one, but in 2023 we are again planning to have two.
Festival-goers also enjoy a great selection of American contras and squares, again with a variety of live bands from England and/or the States. These workshops and dances will be led by callers from the UK and/or the States.
Our International guests will teach dances from different regions of the world, with a special emphasis on the Balkans. Owing to the range of tunes and styles involved in International dancing, workshops are mainly taught with recorded music; only for the evening dances will there be live musicians.
But May Heydays also offers an eclectic mix of other dance styles, traditional and modern. To give you a few examples, we may throw in French and Northern European couple dances, Jive, Lindy Hop, Cajun or Argentinean Tango. In 2022 we had Regency, Bollywood and Belly dancing.
A further string to the festival's bow is our commitment to providing opportunities for caller training. May Heydays will continue the Eastbourne tradition of offering club callers the chance to call for a festival audience. We plan to have a Callers' Workshop followed by a Callers' Showcase with live music. Please contact Mecki if you are interested in taking up this opportunity. The festival will probably also include a "Callers' Round" where callers can meet up and exchange notes, moderated by an experienced caller.
This year's Dance-writing Competition was enjoyed by everyone who took part. If you click on the link, you can see the dance descriptions (with links to the music) and the winners of the competition.