The New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing

Lorient Festival day 6 - 10th Aug 2016

RIGHT – enough of these video blogs, we need something a bit more traditional and stick with words on a page. And frankly, making a video takes up too much data. Sorry to the fans, but we’re not spending money on that. Here goes...

Monday morning = SLEEP IN.

Well, only a little. Lucky for some, Angus, Sarah G and Sara accompanied Robyn and Julie to a reception at the Hôtel de Ville, where they were treated to performances by many of the contingents present at the festival. When the heat became too much for someone standing near the Company contingent, a worried whisper rang through the silence. “Sara, GO!” urged Robyn, as she herself realised that medical concerns were out of her league.

Rehearsal in the afternoon meant... well, rehearsing. Specifically, our 40-minute Journey of the Celts programme, which we are excited to perform on Wednesday. Us boys are especially excited about the 4-and-a-bit step Sailors – can someone tell Academy to scrap the extra 2 steps for the seniors? Much appreciated.

But when the sun sets, the Bish and the Gluyas both come out to play. We had decided to play Mafia, but we thought that nobody had bothered to bring any playing cards. Team Captain Sara took some creative initiative and decided to fashion some out of a bread stick bag. What followed was 5 FULL MINUTES of inspection and mental architecture before we realised that Angus had some cards anyway. Thank goodness – I wouldn’t have liked to see the finished product.

During an initially uneventful game of Mafia, Sarah Gluyas then decided to defend herself by trying to convince everyone that her whereabouts in the shower could be verified... nevertheless her elaborate lie did not convince the team and she was voted out of the game as suspected mafia.

10pm rolled around, and before we realised, we were on stage as part of the Grande Nuit de l’Australie at the Espace Marine – a large marquee with a temporary theatre set up inside – but you would hardly notice this during the show. The lighting was INCREDIBLE. So much so that it even highlighted the boys’ cheekbones (or did we have blusher on?). A lopsided lip-sync of “Everybody dance now!” still won the affections of the crowd, who seems to warm to us everywhere we perform. This was helped by Kate and Matt being top supporters and leading the crowd in clapping along.

A late night walking school bus back to our accommodation ensured that everyone was ready for bed before continuing our residency in Lorient for the rest of the week.

Angus and Lewis


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