This isn't exactly news, but it's the first time I've made it in here to make note of it. I set up a Facebook page, reasoning that people are more likely to see that than they are to see this. Technology has changed and we have to change with it. The link is here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nordlys-Scandinavian-Dancers/219796188071527
If you go to the Facebook page, you will see a recent video of Nordlys performing at this year's Midsummer Festival in Portland. Nordlys also returned to the Astoria Midsummer Festival, after a gap of several years.
I hope to add some new images to the site soon.
I have just received word from Veronika Newgard that Jim Tonder, who along with his wife, Yonnie, founded Nordlys (as well as Norske Runddansere, with Yonnie and Bette Moksnes, in 1983) has passed away on Saturday, March 9, 2013. There will be a private "family-only" service held at an unspecified future date.
Nordlys has had a number of significant losses in the past few years, not only from normal attrition, but the deaths of: first, John Campbell, Nordlys' director, then my husband, Andy, a longtime member of nearly 20 years, and now Jim. I'm sure I'm not the only one who is wondering about Nordlys' future at this point. I can't imagine that Yonnie, so newly bereaved, who has been acting as director since shortly after John's passing, is in any shape to be directing a dance group at this point.
Having been out of town for several months, I do not even know for sure what performances Nordlys had scheduled for this year. I plan to return to Portland soon and will endeavor to find out what the future holds for Nordlys. As soon as I know something definite, I will post it here.
My deep condolences to (and a whole lot of empathy for) Yonnie!
I am exercising my prerogative as webmaster to post notice of an event on Facebook, dedicated to Andy's memory on what would have been his 64th birthday on 2/26/2013. It's an event I created for people to share thoughts and reflections about Andy, since his death at the beginning of June and his memorial service in September. (At which Nordlys performed, so it IS appropriate, in that light, to do this.) Because not everyone is on Facebook or wants to be, I'm offering those folks this space to share their thoughts.
A date and location has been set for the memorial service and celebration of the life of former Nordlys Dancer Andrew Peterson, who passed away in early June of this year. The memorial will take place at West Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in SW Portland on September 29th (Saturday). The exact time is still being worked out, but it is hoped to include Andy's major interests, SAAB automobiles and dance of many types/styles. We invite everyone who knew Andy to come and share their memories. Additional details will be included here and on the Nordlys Facebook page, as soon as they have been determined.
John Campbell, long-time director of, and dancer in Nordlys has passed away Tuesday morning. Those who knew him were well aware of his love for folkdance, and particularly Scandinavian dance, as well as Irish dance, and his great willingness and desire to share that love and interest with others. We will miss John greatly. His spirit and love of the music and dance go on, however.
I would like to invite all those who knew John, and would like to do so, to share their thoughts either here, or on the Nordlys Dancers Facebook page. If you want to share photos there as well, those would certainly also be welcome. I will add a retrospective page here as soon as I can find time. (I'm very busy with work and school now, and it's difficult.)
Danny Hathaway, who, along with his wife, Joan, friend, Bill Martin, and Bill's wife, Nancy, used to play music for Nordlys years ago in the early days, has composed a dance tune, a reel, in honor of John, titled "Big John Campbell's Reel." (We'll see if we can figure out a way to share the tune while respecting Danny's rights.) He is working on the dance "Sean (Campbell) Mor" to go with it, and Betsy Branch has recorded the tune, hoping to share it with John before his passing. We didn't make it, here on Earth, but I'll bet John is kicking up his heels to it, there in Dancers' Heaven.
Stay tuned about word of an upcoming ceili in celebration of John's life, once arrangements are made.
"The graveside ceremony will be Mon Oct 17 at 10 am at:
Park Hill Cemetery
5915 E Mill Plain Blvd in Vancouver
All are welcome. Please share this with John's friends." - Becky Nielsen
It was definitely different being at Oaks Amusement Park this year, instead of the old German-American center. Because there are other activities going on at Oaks besides the Scandinavian Midsommer/ Midsummer Festival, the joint was really jumpin' as the old saying goes. It felt strange not having John there, too, nor Jerry and Tally. I did run into some old friends, Gary and Doreen Corwin and their sons, Sean and Spencer, though. I hadn't seen the boys for several years, and they've turned into giants! Their mom told me she wanted to share the Scandinavian heritage she'd been raised in as an adoptee with her sons. She certainly picked a good place to do that, and the weather was perfect, nice and not too hot. I took some new pictures of the group performing, but I haven't seen the downloads from Andy's camera yet. Hopefully soon, I can look them over, edit them and share the best ones here on the site with you all. Check back soon to see!
Tonight was the last rehearsal before the Portland Scandinavian Midsummer Festival, next Saturday at Oaks Park. Nordlys will be dancing at 2:00. Prior to our performance, there will be a raising of the majstång, or midsummer pole, at 1:00, followed by traditional dancing around the pole. I'm not sure that the translation of "maypole" is really correct, because it is never raised in May in the Scandinavian countries. I think I've seen a different translation.
Fossegrimen, the band led by David Elliker-Vaagsberg, from Eugene, will be playing for a dance in the evening, starting at 6:00 PM. Fossegrimen has performed with Nordlys in the past.
Nordlys will not be performing at the Junction City Scandinavian Festival in August.
I regret to have to report that John Campbell, the director of Nordlys, has had to resign. As mentioned in an earlier post, he has been fighting serious illness (cancer) and needs to put his energies into recovery. He will return as a dancer when his health permits.
Ann Saugen has been acting as interim director, and will continue for the time being. Please contact her or Liz Higuera for information about performances.
The group's current circumstances have also led to the cancellation of Nordlys' traditional performance at the Junction City Scandinavian Festival this year. Be sure to come see the group perform at the Portland Midsommer at Oaks Park. Our thanks to all who have enjoyed and supported Nordlys over the years; we look forward to seeing you at Portland Midsommer!
Our performance last Sunday was at a very nice retirement community in Lake Oswego, at the invitation of Oscar & Mary Olson, who have long been fans of the group. In fact, I found out that they danced with the group briefly in the very early days. Oscar is almost 90 and they have been married for 65 years. We added some participatory dances to the program, but unfortunately, neither of them is able to dance anymore. We had four men and seven women for the performance, so the men were kept hustling.
Unfortunately, we were unable to put together a performance for the Astoria Midsummer Festival the weekend of June 17-19. This is the first time we have _not_ performed at Astoria in the 20 years I've been with the group.
Our next performance will be at the Portland Scandinavian Midsummer Festival, on June 25, which is put on by the Scandinavian Heritage Foundation and other Portland area groups of Scandinavian heritage. This year's festival will be held at Oaks Park, just north of the Sellwood Bridge. The German Home site, which has been used for several years, has been sold to Portland Community College, for the expansion of their Southeast campus.
I've asked Andy to chime in on this one, because I didn't attend the performance, as I was recovering from a marathon of schoolwork completion and had been up way too late the night before. I do know that he wished he'd brought his camera, as he reported Irene and Darryl (mother and son) performed a beautiful rendition of the hambo, which he wished he'd caught digitally.
Hi, I'm Kit, widow of Andy, (one of the Nordlys dancers,) and webmaster of this site. It's a way I support the group.