Duo Sylvain LHOTTE & Floor DANKERS
clarinet, recorder – diatonic accordion, vocals
The Duo Lhotte – Dankers resulted from the encounter, in 2007, of a French clarinettist and a Dutch diatonic accordion player both passionate about French traditional dance music. We specialise in traditional dance music from various French regions and like to take our dancers a musical tour de France; a « Tour de Danses ». We play for barn dances, concerts and teach workshops.
To consult individual biographies of both musicians, please click on their names in the menu on the left.
For past and upcoming dates, please consult our agenda.
You might also like to watch the videos in the Audio/Video section
For more information on our new album Tour de Danses, please scroll down to the bottom of this page. Some excerpts are now available for you to listen to on our myspace.
Bal folk: the French barn dance
Our speciality is to play for dance evenings known as bals folks, which are the French version of barn dances. Our programme mainly consists of French traditional dance music and can be adapted to the audience. We play a mixture of couple dances known across the European continent (scottish, waltz, polka, mazurka), French traditional dances from various regions (bourrées from Auvergne and Berry, circle dances from Brittany and the Vendée, rondeaux from Gascogne, amongst others …) as well as collective figure dances of the English country dance-type. The latter are explained on the spot so that anyone can give it a try, making your dance event more easily accessible for newcomers. Depending on the level of experience of the expected audience we can either add more of the easier figure dances or more French traditional dances from all or one specific region (for example Brittany or Central France). If local dancers are not very familiar with French traditional dances, why not combine your dance evening with a workshop? (see below)
If you are not one of the dancing kind, we can also adapt our programme to a concert setting. We will combine our dance tunes with French traditional songs and tell the audience all about them (in English or Dutch).
The duo Lhotte-Dankers is also available for dance workshops. Both musicians are experienced dancers and Sylvain has been teaching both workshops and regular dance classes for over 10 years. He will guide you through the dance steps, accompanied by Floor on diatonic accordion and song. Our workshops always come with detailed information about the origin of the dances. Workshops are taught in French but Floor can translate into Dutch or English if necessary.
The following workshops are available:
Tour de France: a selection of dances from various French regions chosen among the following: Brittany, Berry, Auvergne, Gascogne, Béarn, Vendée, Poitou, Alsace (not all, of course… unless you are hiring us for a year 😉 ). The content will depend on the level of experience of the dancers.
‘Bal folk’ initiation: easy circle dances from Brittany, Renaissance branles, collective figure dances (circassian circle, allemans marsj), basic couple dances (scottish, mazurka, waltz, polka) as well as other traditional French dances depending on level and requests.
Dances from Brittany: a selection amongst the following: tour, ridée, rond de St Vincent, andro, hanter dro, laridée, rond de Loudéac, various gavottes, plinn (Dans Fañch), kost er c’hoet
Bourrées from the Berry: steps and various choreographies (pairs, squares, circles, …)
Dances from South-West France:dances from Gascogne (rondeaux) and Béarn (sauts, branle d’ossau)
New album « Tour de Danses » !
Release date: July 2013
On our first real album we invite the listener on a musical tour de France, a Tour de Danses across various French regions (Auvergne, Berry, Brittany, Gascogne, Béarn, Vendée). Most tunes are traditional and our interpretation reflects our vision of dance music. The pace which we play the tunes is that at which we would like to dance them ourselves and in some cases this means we play them more slowly than can be commonly heard at balls these days. We have also chosen to highlight the beauty of these melodies and to interpret them in a simple way rather than use complicated arrangements. Finally, we have tried our best to respect the typical “flavour” of the different regional styles.
Gabriele Coltri: “cornemuse du Centre” bagpipes in G and A
Dominique Paris: “cabrette” bagpipe in C
Jacques Lanfranchi: recording, “cornemuse du Centre” bagpipe in low D
For the track list, please visit the « Audio/Video » section.
Some excerpts are now available on our myspace.
Digipack, 20-page booklet
total playing time : 66:51
Price: 15 euros + shipping costs. For shipping within Europe please allow for € 2,50 (postal costs and packaging).
To order and receive bank account numbers, please send an e-mail to: f.dankers[at]gmail.com.