Waynesville’s signature event is FolkmootUSA, a gathering of folk dancing groups from around the world to celebrate traditional dance and music as a way of promoting mutual understanding and appreciation for both the diversity and unity of our humanity. This is its twenty-eighth year. The product of year-round planning by a small staff and six hundred local volunteers, it is the largest, I believe, such event in North America. Over the years groups have come from regions as remote as the Buryiat Republic around Lake Baikal, and as near as Canada and Mexico. Each year Sylvia and I usually find a favorite among them. This year, it’s the delightful Finnish group Tahdittomat. While we are dazzled by the costumes of Caribbean and African groups, soothed by flowing silk banners of the Chinese, and mesmerized by the intricate drums of Africans, Tahdittomat’s dancers delighted us with a fusion of contemporary folk music and expressively choreographed dance. They were selected to perform at our street dance this year, so on Friday night I got some pictures, though a video would have helped you catch a better glimpse of what they offered us.
The current president of Folkmoot’s board opened up this ten days with the hope that through this artistic encounter we might take another step toward building the understanding out of which comes the possibility of peace among the peoples of this threatened planet. It is also the kind of beauty that makes a life of peace abundant. May dance be in your peace!