Fall Swedish Music & Dance Weekend

2021 Fall Swedish Weekend was a hybrid event featuring both online and in-person activities. Take a look at what we did, and stay tuned for news about our 2022 festival, scheduled for October 21-23!

We kicked off the weekend on October 22nd with virtual activities, including a cooking class with J. Miller and a community social and welcome. Saturday, October 23rd featured in-person music workshops at Folklore Village, a concert, and an evening party with dancing. The concert and evening party hosted at Folklore Village were live-streamed for those who could not attend in-person. We wrapped up the weekend with virtual music and dance classes led by Roo Lester and Char Bostrom on Sunday, October 24th. 

Featuring in-person guest staff: Paul & Marikay Dahlin and friends, and Becky Weis, and Earl and DoAnn Holzman.
And featuring online guest staff: Roo Lester, Char Bostrom, J. Miller, and Earl Holzman

Friday, October 22nd 

Swedish Cooking Class with J. Miller
5:00 – 6:00 pm, Central Time
Online, via Zoom
Join J. Miller of RedBarn Catering for an online workshop on Swedish cooking. Kick off the weekend by learning to make a Swedish recipe from the comfort of your own home! This hearty meal of Ärtsoppa (yellow pea soup) and Gubböra (egg salad with sprats) is perfect for fall.
Registration Closed

Community Social Hour and Welcome to the Weekend
7:00 – 9:00 pm, Central Time
Online, via Zoom
See familiar faces and new ones at this virtual evening gathering. The gathering will feature an overview of the weekend, a presentation by Earl Holzman on the development of the nyckelharpa, a look at the evolution of this cherished weekend, and a chance to share fond memories and socialize with this wonderful community.

Schedule (please note that times are approximate)
7:00 – 7:20pm Welcome and Staff Introductions
7:20-8:05: “The History and Development of the Nyckelharpa” presentation by Early Holzman
8:05-8:20: A look at the evolution of Fall Swedish Weekend with Becky Rehl
8:20-9:00: Time to reflect on the presentations and socialize

*Everyone who registers for any of the 2021 Fall Swedish Weekend activities will receive the Zoom link and access information for this social hour at no cost. (This social hour is only open to those who participate in at least one other 2021 Fall Swedish Weekend session). 

Saturday, October 23rd

In-Person Fall Swedish Day
All day (Click here to see the schedule)
Folklore Village
$120 for full day; $75 for workshops and lunch; $45 for evening events
Get the Fall Swedish experience in a single day: music workshops, an evening concert and dance party, and delicious Swedish food catered by RedBarn Catering. In-person participants can select to attend the morning workshops, lunch, and afternoon workshops; the dinner, concert, and evening party; or both. Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is required to attend in-person activities. 

Registration Closed 

Concert and Evening Party Live-Stream
Starting at 7:45 pm, Central Time
Online, via Zoom
The concert and the evening party following (held at Folklore Village) will also be live-streamed so that those of you at home can listen and dance along. Just as when we are in-person, we don’t know how late the evening will go.
Registration Closed

Sunday, October 24th

2/4 Music & Dance Online Workshop
10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Central Time
Online, via Zoom
Have you ever thought: “I want to dance, but I don’t know what to dance to this music. What do I do?” Join Roo Lester and Char Bostrom for a workshop on 2/4 Swedish music and dance, for a greater appreciation of duple meter rhythms and dances. 2/4: Putting dance and music together. Learn a dance and how to dance it to music; learn a tune and how to play it for dance.
Registration Closed

3/4 Music & Dance Online Workshop
2:00 – 4:00 pm, Central Time
Online, via Zoom
But what about polskas and hambos? In this workshop explore 3/4 Swedish music and dance: Putting dance and music together. Learn a dance and how to dance it to music; learn a tune and how to play it for dance. Join Roo Lester and Char Bostrom for a workshop on 3/4 Swedish music and dance, for a greater appreciation of triple meter rhythms and dances.
Registration Closed


Click here for a detailed schedule of the weekend

Like life, this schedule is subject to change. 

Artistic Staff 

This year marks 46 years since Edwin Johnson and his family first came to Folklore VillageWe are so excited to be back in-person this year! We hope you will join us for this hybrid weekend with workshops, parties, and activities lead by Paul & Marikay Dahlin, Roo Lester, Becky Weis, Char Bostrom, Earl & DoAnn Holzman, and other friends!

Paul Dahlin and his late mother Nancy performing together in the 1970s.

Paul Dahlin
For the past 45 years, Paul has been sharing the folk music of Dalarna, Sweden brought to the U.S. by his grandfather Ivares Edwin Johnson, who emigrated to Minnesota in 1924. Paul learned to play fiddle from his grandfather when he was a young boy. Paul, his grandfather, and Uncle Bruce formed the group American Swedish Spelmans Trio and performed at the Snoose Boulevard Festival in Minneapolis, on the radio program A Prairie Home Companion, and even for the King of Sweden! Edwin Johnson died in 1984, but his musical legacy lives on in Paul who, together with his family, carries on the style of music Grandpa Edwin played as a young man–traditional dance polska, vals and gånglåt walking tunes. Paul was awarded an NEA National Heritage Fellowship in 1996.

Through the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis and at Folklore Village, Paul’s goal has been to make this rich traditional music available to all those interested, teaching the melodies and communicating the subtleties in the rhythms to keep the music as authentic as possible–even if it has a slight American accent. Each year Paul creates a team of musicians: the “Folklore Village Spelmanslag.” Paul will be joined by wife Marikay on the cittra (zither.)

Roo Lester, Larry Harding, and Char Bostrom at Folklore Village.

Roo Lester

Roo Lester & Larry Harding are well known for their fun and sensitive teaching style, making them a favorite with novice and experienced dancers alike. If you are new to Swedish dance, don’t miss the music and dance workshops with Roo and Char on Sunday. Roo is the type of teacher interested in your learning, and she does everything she can to make you proud of your dance progress as the weekend unfolds.

Char Bostrom

Char Bostrom, from Saint Paul, Minnesota, has been pursuing her love for and interest in Scandinavian dance fiddling for many years.  In the greater Twin Cities area pre-Covid she played for four dance groups and is a member of the Ole Olssons Oldtime Orkestra.  She has traveled around the country and Scandinavia attending workshops and playing for dancing. Char will play and teach tunes for the music and dance workshops with Roo on Sunday. 

Becky Weis

Becky Weis has played and studied nyckelharpa on both sides of the Atlantic. She is known as a teacher and a player for dancers, and has fun teaching and making tunes danceable. Becky guides playing with technique tips, and likes the spirit of getting a good tune going.

Becky is also a scholar in the Swedish nyckelharpa tradition, the subject of her doctoral dissertation in ethnomusicology. She serves on the board of directors of the Twin Cities Nyckelharpalag, and teaches both nyckelharpa and hardingfele at St. Olaf’s College.

Earl & DoAnn Holzman

Earl and DoAnn Holzman have been involved in Scandinavian dancing and music for more than 40 years. DoAnn will be teaching the beginners nyckelharpa workshop. Earl has been building Nyckelharpas for over 10 years and is currently the only full-time nyckelharpa builder in North America. DoAnn helps with making bows. There will be a full selection of his nyckelharpas and bows available to try. Earl will be available for minor adjustments and repairs of any nyckelharpas.