In August 2022 we held our first event as a group. Here’s a little look into how it came about and what we did! For years, our mother group Anam Chara had been invited by the Ur Ton Drummers of Linz, to dance in their annual drumming circle next to the Lentos on the banks of the river Danube, Linz. As Julia is an active member of Anam Chara, and her student Christina is a member of the drumming group, it sparked an idea.

Julia decided it would be fun to provide a way for Fat Chancers to connect in a relaxed setting after the stress of the pandemic. What could be better than in a live drumming circle?

Then came another idea as she and Tina got chatting. Why not connect the event to a workshop or two and make a day of it? And who better to ask than our teacher and mentor Gudrun Herold? So, Julia chatted with Gudrun, Tina created the online poster and registration form and together they privately invited dancers from all over Germany with the assistance of their dance sister in Bavaria, Lisi Brümmer!

Two skirt workshops and a frame drum workshop were on offer, at the incredible Sonnenstein Loft, Red Sapata Tanz Fabrik, followed by Hafla style dancing with the drummers to close the day. Dancers from Tanzerei Adabei, Tingula Tribe and our very own Anam Chara came, and we had a blast. Gudrun took us through her, and Philippa Morai’s skirt dialect and we practiced hard and tried out our new moves. Then came the drum workshop which Julia and Tina also attended. We tapped out rhythms that we dance to in our style such as Maksoum and Baladi. There are different ways and parts of the drum to hit, which are connected to different elements. This was a fascinating insight into an instrument which has been played by women for thousands of years. For more on this, if you are interested, please reach out to Gudrun Herold at Many Moons Collective.

After that we all got ready, with our skirts, scarves, belts, heavy jewellery and a little makeup and hair styled with flowers and then made our way over the bridge and excitement mounted as we heard the drums pounding. Gudrun led us in a gratitude meditation for ourselves and then to the drummers and afterwards we danced and zilled till our arms almost dropped off!

We chatted as the sun set and connected over a small picnic as we sat on the grass and just took in the atmosphere. The ladies dipped in and out of the circle to dance as the general public watched and enjoyed the show!

Thank you to the UrTon Drummers, the dancers who came and of course Gudrun Herold, our teacher for the day! The event was so special, we’ve decided to expand on it and do something a little bigger next year, but more on that another time!

Here are some pictures:

Photography at Donaulände: Johann Lackner, Fotoklub Feldkirchen

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