Vesterled was performed on 13 September 1998 at the Waterfront in Wick, Caithness, during the Northlands Festival. It was the world premiere of a commissioned piece written by Norwegian composer Henning Sommerro and performed by Evelyn Glennie. Sommerro’s piece links traditional Norwegian and Scottish tunes providing the foundations of our ‘journey.’

Vesterled – “western journey” – is a journey through music and dance. It starts in Norway and takes us through Shetland and Orkney to the Northlands of Scotland.

Guided by the earth beat, fiddles and the pipes create the distinctive sounds of each place that our journey takes us. The dancers will give you a flavour of each culture, starting with a Norwegian Reel, and showing its ÔcousinsÕ in Shetland, Orkney and the north Highlands, interspersed with the more recent couple dances particular to each area. We also show you the transition from the dancing in the crofthouses to the village halls type of dances.

The time line of the piece is built round Evelyn Glennie’s percussive elements as composed by Henning Sommerro. The traditional music is represented by the fiddles of Andrew Gifford (Shetland), Jennifer and Hazel Wrigley (Orkney) and Karen Steven (Caithness). Talented young piper Carol-Ann Mackay (Sutherland) completes the musical line-up.

The 8 dancers of Shetland Folkdance display the movements of the Norwegian, Shetland and Orkney dances and will be joined by four of Scotland’s leading step-dancers, building up for the arrival to the Northlands and the finale.

This is simply a celebration of music and dance from the Northlands put together by Mats Melin.

Vesterled Reviews