A taste of traditional Swedish fiddlers on Queen Street
The Swedish countryside was left to the imagination but its traditional music, costumes, and dance were shared. From the pastoral sound of a long birch bark horn used for herding to demonstrations of folk dance, the performance of Swedish fiddlers on Friday was a sampler of arts one might experience on a tour of the Dalarna region of Sweden (or Epcot Center, for those with more limited travel budgets).
The fiddle work flowed seamlessly once Transtrand Spelmanslag hit their stride. Stig Larsson led the group through samplings of regional tunes, interspaced by commentary on the stories behind the songs. Life is paced to music in Sweden: brides are marched along by a fiddler, horns send messages between herdsmen in the pastures, and variations in sounds can be used to ward off bears, wolves, trolls, or tourists. The audience got a taste of what and why for each.
But the strength of the show was in the brisker waltzes. When the bows are in motion, it’s a delight to the ears. The show could be stronger with a tight emphasis on the dance music and a faster pace, especially given only an hour to run from start to finish.
Transtrand Spelmanslag • Piccolo Spoleto • (1 hour) • $15 • June 3 at 2 p.m. • Footlight Players Theatre, 20 Queen St. • 554-6060