On Bouge is London’s long-running club for Balfolk, Bal Trad, Bal Occitan and Fest Noz

We always have Live Music. The On Bouge Band features a driving mix of hurdy gurdies, fiddles and accordeons, though we also know how to slow it down for more intimate couple dances. Duo Mistral (Chris & Caroline Shaw) are usually on hand to share their years of experience of dancing in various French regions. Many of the dances we do are danced all over Europe. Fest Noz, Balfolk, Bal Trad, Bal Occitan are titles used to describe what we do. The accent is on dancing with fun, but we usually try and tell you about the context of the dances, fitting them into the cultural traditions of the various regions.

Beginners and visitors are always very welcome. We are dead chuffed to have such an eclectic mix of nationalities dancing at On Bouge: English, French, Portugese, Italian, Belgian, Polish, Turkish … sadly not necessarily all on the same night, but it’s always fun to see you all 🙂 We’ll show you the easy steps so you can join in right away. No partner necessary, but better to bring them than leave them at home 🙂 You can also come just to listen to the great live music.


We meet monthly usually on the 2nd Friday of each month (not July or August), but sometimes it is the 3rd Friday (often to snap up guest musicians who are in town or close by). So please join the email list so we can keep you up to date (send Chris an email at chris@gigcb.com).

Doors open 7.15pm, dancing starts at 7:30pm. There is no bar so please BYO booze.


It’s the last gig of 2017. Make it a good one so we can go through happily into 2018 🙂

  • Friday 8th December: The On Bouge Christmas Fest Noz and Balfolk, with Duo Mistral: Bring food and drink to share. No doubt Mr Shaw will bake a Christmas Cake 🙂 [NB: He did, AND produced a whole tub of mulled wine!]


Bonne année. Bloavezhed mat. Bona annada.

  • Friday 12th January: The On Bouge Band playing for Balfolk, and Duo Mistral with some specific Breton dances (Danse LĂ©on, Danse Kef, Gavotte du Bas LĂ©on), Ronde Argenton and Ronde du Quercy.
  • Friday 9th February: GIG CB! Balfolk. GIG CB! is very well known throughout France from appearing at Gennetines, the Grand Bal de l’Europe, for more than 20 years. We play mostly English Ceilidh in France (see George III, our new CD), but we’re well experienced at playing for French dance too (look our for our French dance CD in late 2018)
  • Friday 9th March: Becky Price and Nigel Eaton. Need I say more? Both superb gutsy dynamic musicians, but also with the capacity to play the gentler more romantic type of music for more intimate couple dancing. What’s to not like?
  • Friday 13th April: ask me later!
  • Friday 11th May: and again.
  • Friday 8th June: and again and again and again! 🙂


We dance several types of dances from different regions of France:

  • BourrĂ©es come from central France and are danced in a variety of ways. Most people are familiar with the bourrĂ©e droite, where you in two lines facing your partner and the music is two-time (4/4) or three-time (3/8). Other bourrĂ©es are dance in couples or in groups of four or six people. Montagnards are Auvergnat bourrĂ©es danced in cortege while you slowly makie your way to the top and then, helter skelter-like, you bourrĂ©e through the cortege and join it again at the bottom. There are specific styles of bourrĂ©e from Berry, Bourbonnais, Nivernais, Morvan, Auvergne, Correze and Gascony, with one or two local styles of bourrĂ©e elsewhere.
  • The Schottische, Mazurka, Polka and Valse are popular couple dances danced all over France.
  • Breton dances such as Gavotte des Montagnes, An Dro, Hanter Dro, Dans Plinn and  Suite de LoudĂ©ac are danced in long snaking lines which intermingle and diverge. We have been working on dances from LĂ©on (north-west Brittany) recently as well.
  • Gascon dances such as rondeaux and congos. And the Ronde de Quercy from just to the north of Gascony.
  • Dances from BĂ©arn and Pays Basque (in the PyrenĂ©es Atlantique) such as the sauts, e.g. Sept sauts, La Craba, Dus, Marianne. Danced singly in a circle,with springy steps, but still very much a communal dance.

Musicians – develop your repertoire and technique for dance-related music in an informal setting: contact chris@gigcb.com for more info. Many of us meet at The George Inn, Southwark, for a boeuf (= French for music session) on the first Monday each month (the second Monday if the first one is a public holiday).


Primrose Hill Community Centre
29 Hopkinson’s Place (off Fitzroy Rd)
London NW1 8TN

Nearest tube Chalk Farm or Camden Town
Map: http://g.co/maps/ta6nf

Entry: ÂŁ9 (ÂŁ7 concs)

Please BYO booze

For more information, and to join the email list, please email us on chris@gigcb.com and like us (or whatever the current term is!) at www.facebook.com/onbougelondon

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