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(Video) Faroese Chain Dance 1/2

Watch the second part of the documentary here.

The Faroese chain dance is a living tradition. There are several Faroese Dance Associations in the Faroe Islands and a few in Denmark too. These associations arrange for evenings with Faroese chain dance, mostly in wintertime. Kvæði are the old ballads of the Faroe Islands, accompanied by the Faroese dance. Kvæði can have hundreds of stanzas plus a chorus sung between every verse. The subject matter of Faroese ballads varies widely, including heroic narratives set in the distant past.

Faroese ballads began to be collected by Jens Christian Svabo in 1781–1782, though Svabo’s collection was not published in his lifetime; the most prominent of Svabo’s successors was Venceslaus Ulricus Hammershaimb. The Danish historians Svend Grundtvig and Jørgen Bloch began the process of a complete, standard edition of the ballads, which eventually gave rise to the Føroya kvæði/Corpus carminum Færoensium, published between 1941 and 2003. In the last volume, Marianne Clausen presented a large collection of music transcriptions of kvæði melodies, based on sound recordings. Ballads took an important role in the development of Faroese national consciousness in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

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