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A Tale Of Two Rivers ...

... was a story in music, words and dance which was first conceived by Mick Tems and Celfyddydau Mari Arts for the Best Of Taff-Ely arts festival in 1995. Then, the two rivers were the Taff and the Ely... but now the story had grown to take in the Rhondda Fawr and Fach, or the Cynon and the Clydach. One of those rivers could even be the mighty Susquehanna, far away across the Atlantic...

The music and songs came from the Welsh Celtic music group Calennig, Llantrisant-based Mick Tems and Pat Smith, who had taken the music and stories of South Wales on many tours of America, New Zealand and Europe over the years. 

The dances came from Dawnswyr Tāf-Elai - a specially-created team made up of the cream of Welsh folk dancers, many of them living or working in Rhondda Cynon Taff.

The fascinating tales came from Eirwen Malin, living in the Vale of Glamorgan, who - like Calennig - is a regular performer and storyteller at the weekly Llantrisant Folk Club music events.

A Tale Of Two Rivers was performed at arts centres and community halls throughout South Wales to give the audience pride, identity and enjoyment - a sense of belonging within all of us. Vibrant dances, stirring songs, stories to keep you on the the edge of your seat with suspense, surprise and laughter... all were there in a shade under two hours.

One of the highlights was our triumphant whistle-stop tour to the Gymanfa Ganu Festival Of Wales at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA. Calennig had been invited to the Festival Of Wales in the city, and it was there that Mick and Glenn Grove, who chaired the Harrisburg committee, conceived the dream to stage the Two Rivers show before an American public. Mick's stroke was a mighty blow - but the rest of the team made the flight to Harrisburg, leaving Mick behind to recover. Special thanks must go to Pat Smith, who took over Two Rivers in Mick's nine-month absence.

It's been a long time and a lot of water has flowed under the bridge - figuratively speaking. The Tale Of Two Rivers team has long ago disbanded - but given the time, place and oodles of money, we just might consider reforming. We just might...


Copyright © 1998 Mari Arts.

Last modified: 08 March, 2010