Midwinter 2020

Are you registered and trying to figure out how to get connected with the festival? Please check your email for a link to the Festival Access Page! This link would have come in an email after you paid. If you run into trouble, please contact programs@folklorevillage.org or call (608) 924-4000.

The 2020 Festival of Christmas and Midwinter Traditions will be held December 29 through January 1 as a series of workshops, performances, and gatherings hosted over the videoconferencing platform Zoom. The theme for this online festival is “The Best of Midwinter” and the event features long-time community members and artistic staff from recent years who have been particularly popular.

Scroll down for…
-Registration & Payment
-Artistic Staff Bios
-Festival Schedule


Registration & Payment

Click here to register.
Click here to purchase admission.

…And check out our scholarships here!

You will be considered fully registered for Midwinter when you have both paid AND submitted a registration form. After you’ve paid and registered, Folklore Village staff will be in touch with all the information you need to access the festival.


Artistic Staff

Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu
Romanian dance workshops

Cristian Florescu hails from Romania and began dancing in folk ensembles there in the 1980s. He has been recognized by the government of Romania for his expertise within folk dance. Cristian has worked as a dancer and choreographer with ensembles in Romania and Moldova, and in Montreal with Les Sortilèges dance company, Canada’s oldest professional folk dance ensemble.
Sonia Dion was born in Québec and has been a professional dancer for over 20 years. She was lead dancer and choreographer for Les Sortilèges. Sonia has toured worldwide and has been exposed to a wide range of dance techniques including Romanian folk dance, Scottish highland dancing, French-Canadian clogging, and ballroom.
Sonia and Cristian tour the world together teaching and performing Romanian folk dance and other folk dance styles, and they also lead ethnographic tours to Romania focused on folk dance. We are so pleased to have them with us once again for Midwinter!
Brendon Taaffe
Community singing workshops

Brendan Taaffe believes that we create something extraordinary when we sing together, whether live in harmony or as a sing-a-long in digital space. In his teaching, Brendan draws on songs from the ‘American Vernacular’ (gospel, bluegrass, Appalachian and shape note songs), his own compositions, and Zimbabwean makwayera songs. He loves these songs for their compelling rhythms, evocative harmonies, and themes that speak to everyday life. These are songs that come from participatory, community-based traditions: songs that draw people together around the world.

Tani Diakite
Malian musical performance

Tani is a musical force who has inspired an entire community of artists. With his Kamale n’goni, a West African ancestor to the banjo, and his plaintive singing, he never fails to drop the deepest blues around. Tani will join us on Wednesday evening for a performance and discussion about his art form. Be ready to dance along to Tani’s lively rhythms!

PictureSteve Weintraub

Yiddish Dance

Steven Lee Weintraub is a teacher, choreographer, and performer of Jewish dance, particularly Yiddish dance, the dance to klezmer music. Born on Governor’s Island, Bar Mitzvahed in the Bronx, and living now in Philadelphia, Steve received his dance training in Manhattan with Alvin Ailey and Erick Hawkins, among others. He is in international demand as a teacher of traditional Yiddish dance at festivals and workshops including Klezkamp, Klezkanada, and festivals in Krakow, Furth, Paris and London to name a few.  Steven delights in introducing people to the figures, steps and stylings of the dances that belong to Klezmer music. He has often been called the “Pied Piper of Yiddish Dance”; his years of experience leading and researching Yiddish dance allow him to quickly weave dancers and music together in astonishing ways. Young and old, from all backgrounds, find it easy to share in the joy of Yiddish dancing.
Steve will teach a dance workshop on December 31 and then will lead dancing at the New Year’s Eve Party. Get ready to kick it up with Steve!

J. Miller
Cooking workshops

J. Miller of RedBarn Catering is our consummate chef for all Folklore Village festivals. Since we won’t be able to put J.’s awesome food on your plate in-person this year, we are instead offering an opportunity for festival participants to learn directly from J. how to make some of his favorite Midwinter recipes in your own kitchen. Join in the fun to make a delicious New Year’s Eve feast with J.!

Johanna Gorman-Baer
Theater games & “brain breaks”

Johanna Gorman-Baer has been teaching theater in many forms for the last ten years. She is constantly inspired by how collaborative play can challenge the imagination to grow beyond the individual to create artistic community. Folklore Village remains her second home, where for over a decade she’s led workshops for all ages in theater, storytelling, and movement.

Tova Gorman-Baer

Arts & crafts

Join lifelong Folklore Villager Tova Gorman-Baer for a pArty! What’s a pArty, you ask? Equal parts scavenger hunt and collaborative art project, a pArty will let you see household objects in a whole new way. Together, we will decide on a folk art-related theme, gather materials from our own homes, and create spontaneous works of art together. At the end of the workshop, we will share our creations in a live-action art show! Come join Tova in creative fun for all ages.

Other contributing community members:
Dan Lippitt & Glenn Mitroff
Ostfriesen Tea Ceremony


Amy McFarland & Maria Terres

Festival Band

Bob Walser & Julie Young
Music & dance calling


Greg Winz
Torte recipes & bonfire


Schedule

Tuesday, December 29
10:00-11:15 am    Singing Workshop with Brendan Taaffe

1:00-2:30 pm        Romanian Dance Workshop with Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu

3:30-5:00 pm        Ostfriesen Tea with Dan Lippitt & Glenn Mitroff
A tea presentation by Dan and Glenn of the Ostfriesen Tea Shop! Prepare your own tea and snacks at home and enjoy time with old and new friends, and watch the access page for ideas and recipes that will help you recreate the Ostfriesen Tea Ceremony in your home. This will also be a time for memory sharing about Midwinter Festivals gone-by, so feel free to bring photos, ephemera, and stories to show and tell.

6:00 pm-7:00 pm  Theater Games with Johanna Gorman-Baer

8:00-10:00 pm      Virtual Country Dancing feat. Rare Privilege (Amy McFarland & Maria Terres) and the Walser-Young Family
An evening of English country dance and contra music by Rare Privilege, and a few square dances called by Julie Young, accompanied by Bob, Lolo, and Smack!

This evening gathering will also feature “Brain Breaks” with Johanna Gorman-Baer designed to give your brain a rest from the computer screen. To fully participate in the brain breaks, please have these items available:
– Something stick-like (a ruler or wooden kitchen spoon work best)
– Something ball-like and soft (bean bag, balled up socks, etc)
– Something ball-like and bouncy (tennis ball is ideal)
– Something to cover one eye (blindfold, bandanna, eye patch)
– Space to move around
– Water to drink

Wednesday, December 30
10:00-11:30 am    Romanian Dance Workshop with Sonia Dion & Cristian Florescu

1:00-3:00 pm        Cooking Class with J. Miller
From our 2017 Japanese Ryukyu Islands Supper, we’re bringing back the Soki Soba Bowl! Featuring Braised Pork Ribs, Fried Tofu, Pork or Kombu (kelp) Dashi, Soft Boiled Eggs, Soba Noodles, and Sesame Broccoli & Mushrooms. Accompanied by Mini Matcha Trifles with Matcha Custard, Cream, & Syrup. We’ll need two days to put this feast together, so I hope you can attend both classes! Stay tuned for an ingredients list.

4:00-5:15 pm        Singing Workshop with Brendan Taaffe

5:45-7:45 pm        pARTy with Tova Gorman-Baer
Join lifelong Folklore Villager Tova Gorman-Baer for a pArty! What’s a pArty, you ask? Equal parts scavenger hunt and collaborative art project, a pArty will let you see household objects in a whole new way. Together, we will decide on a folk art-related theme, gather materials from our own homes, and create spontaneous works of art together. At the end of the workshop, we will share our creations in a live-action art show! Come join Tova in creative fun for all ages.

8:30-10:30 pm     Afro-Funk Fête with Tani Diakite
An interactive performance with Tani where you’ll be able to dance and drum along!

Thursday, December 31
10:00-11:30 am    Yiddish/Klezmer Dance Workshop with Steve Weintraub

1:00-3:00 pm        Cooking Class with J. Miller
From our 2017 Japanese Ryukyu Islands Supper, we’re bringing back the Soki Soba Bowl! Featuring Braised Pork Ribs, Fried Tofu, Pork or Kombu (kelp) Dashi, Soft Boiled Eggs, Soba Noodles, and Sesame Broccoli & Mushrooms. Accompanied by Mini Matcha Trifles with Matcha Custard, Cream, & Syrup. We’ll need two days to put this feast together, so I hope you can attend both classes! Stay tuned for an ingredients list.

4:00-5:00 pm        Tea and social–theme TBA

6:00-7:30 pm        Theater Games with Johanna Gorman-Baer

8:30 pm~              New Year’s Eve Gathering
An evening of singing, dancing, music, and theater in the style of our traditional New Year’s Eve party. You’ll even get to watch the bonfire burn at Folklore Village! Bring a candle to light at midnight and welcome 2021 with a virtual sing.

This evening gathering will also feature “Brain Breaks” with Johanna Gorman-Baer, designed to give your brain a rest from the computer screen. To fully participate in the brain breaks, please have these items available:
– Something stick-like (a ruler or wooden kitchen spoon work best)
– Something ball-like and soft (bean bag, balled up socks, etc)
– Something ball-like and bouncy (tennis ball is ideal)
– Something to cover one eye (blindfold, bandanna, eye patch)
– Space to move around
– Water to drink

Friday, January 1
12:00-2:00 pm      Jammin’ in Your Jammies: A New Year’s Day Open Mic
Sing a song, read a poem, do a dance… All performances welcome! Enjoy our talented community as we bring this year’s festival to a close.