The music comes down through the Breton ages full of pre-Christian: Celtic resonances. It’s hypnotic and often dualling rhythms made on bombard, biniou and telen* build up trance-like through the Fest Noz evenings. People link little fingers and long lines of dancers form. The footwork is complex, but it doesn’t matter if you cannot manage it. Participating is the thing, just make tiny side steps in rhythm and you will be fine. The last dance of the night is a Breton gavotte, where you will see Grandsons swirling Grandmothers, young men with babies on their shoulders swirling young women, not-even-sleepy four year olds dancing, everyone in fact joins in. The Breton language, more like welsh than french, is very much alive here and these events are where you will hear it spoken.
Bombard – a type of clarinette; Biniou – a type of bagpipe; Telen – a type of harp.
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