Leikarringen of Leif Erikson Lodge 2-001 presents a celebration of Norwegian culture, music, and dance on Tuesday (our regular practice night), October 29, starting at 6PM Leikarringen will be serving soup, salad, and bread followed by a performance by Vestafor, potluck desserts, and then a dance workshop. Donations at the door are gladly accepted. Free parking at AmericanWest Bank next door from 6PM-10:30PM. The event takes place at Leif Erikson Hall 2245 NW 57th Street, Seattle WA 98107.
Vestafor, of the West, is a trio of dancers and musicians performing to preserve the Norwegian culture through story-telling, music, and dance. Both Ginny Lee and Toby Weinberg were teachers at Norsk Folkedans Stemne this past summer. This time they bring along Mikkel Thompson who now lives in Sweden--he's a favorite local telemark dancer of ours! The group "presents 200 to 1,000-year-old music of Norway using historic instruments such as the Hardanger fiddle, munnharpa (mouth organ) and torader (button accordion). The Hardanger fiddle includes an extra set of strings that fill out the sound with extra resonances. "I have a small collection of them," Weinberg said. "They have been made in Norway as far back as we know. The oldest dated one was 1650 but we know there were others. Almost as long as there were violins, they have been making Hardanger fiddles." (from the Minot Daily News 9/30/2011)
Ginny Lee, Toby Weinberg, and Mikkel Thompson have been performing and teaching Norwegian dance and music together as part of the ensemble Vestafor for more than a decade. Vestafor has performed at festivals and across the country from coast to coast including appearances at the Norsk Høstfest in Minot ND and Norway Day in San Francisco. Vestafor has made many tours cross country teaching dance workshops and performing at various venues including local arts centers, Sons of Norway Lodges, schools and churches.
Toby Weinberg is widely recognized as one of the leading Hardanger fiddle players in North America. He has been learning, teaching and performing slåttar from Telemark and Numedal for more than 27 years. He is also an accomplished performer and teacher of other Norwegian instruments including ordinary fiddle, seljefløyte and munnharpe. As a dance and music teacher Toby has a special interest in teaching about the ways in which the music molds and enlivens the dance. Wonderful stories of music and Norway are an enriching part of his performances.
Ginny Lee together with Mikkel Thompson were the leaders of the Nordahl Greig Barneleikarring for around 10 years. She has taught workshops and courses for adult and children's dance groups across the country both on her own and together with Vestafor. Ginny has been dancing all her life, first as a partner to her mother teaching dance, then as a leader and instructor for international dance groups and for the last 20 years with a special focus on teaching and performing Norwegian traditional dance. She also is accomplished in playing the harpeleik, a Norwegian zither. Mikkel served at the artistic director of the Nordahl Grieg Leikarring for 17 years.
"Ginny and Toby and I also have a profound, very deep love for this tradition," Thompson said. "We want to share that with everyone and spread the word and encourage them to be at least better aware." (From the 9/30/2011, Minot Daily News)