International dance groups to feature at Folk Festival

PUBLISHED: 17:25 08 July 2008 | UPDATED: 10:50 17 June 2010

DANCE groups from abroad will feature in Sidmouth FolkWeek next month, thanks to a £10,000 grant from Devon County Council.

DANCE groups from abroad will feature in Sidmouth FolkWeek next month, thanks to a £10,000 grant from Devon County Council.

It is the first time the council has made a grant to the festival, which has run continuously since 1954.

Groups from France, Latvia and the Isle of Man will be among the performers.

Sidmouth, Sidford County Councillor Stuart Hughes said: "This is great, £10,000 is a considerable amount and it is good to see the county council is really getting involved in FolkWeek.

Eddie Upton, the festival's artistic director, received the cheque on Friday, surrounded by dancers from Great Western Morris by The Fiddler statue in Connaught Gardens.

He said: "This is the launch pad of renewing the international ethos of the festival."

He couldn't say whether The Knowle Arena would be used "in the foreseeable future" but said it would not be used as it had been before the festival's 50th anniversary.

Dance display manager Chris Cook said there would be 15 dance teams and two mumming sides at the festival, including Great Western Morris.

She said: "We are trying to increase the international side of it. Last year we had a Romanian team and this year we have two foreign teams and one from the Isle of Man. It is quite a big thing for them to travel."

DCC's executive member for culture, Cllr Sheila Hobden said: "We recognise the national and indeed international role this event plays in promoting arts and cultural opportunities in Devon.

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