The French Connection
Back in about 1993, a group of French folk dancers from Sutton's twin town Gagny, a suburb to the east of Paris, was invited to visit Sutton as part of the twin towns’ scheme. Members of East Surrey Morris Men and Pennyroyal Clog Dancers were asked to provide accommodation for the French visitors.
The French dance group was l’Aubade du Quercy and this initial contact sowed the seeds for a long-lasting friendship that continues to this day. The English dancers were first invited to France in 1995 and this started a pattern, with visits in opposite directions roughly every two years.
This contact has been a good example of l’entent cordiale over the years and provides the opportunity for generous hospitality, conviviality, dancing and the appreciation of another nation’s rich folklore heritage. Pennyroyal last visited Gagny in 2010 and so is planning to invite l’Aubade du Quercy to Sutton in 2012.
Just as Pennyroyal, are based in north-east Surrey yet perform dances from the north of England, so l’Aubade du Quercy do not perform dances from Paris! The group was founded by families who had their roots in Quercy, which is situated in the southwest of France and is noted, amongst other things, for the local Cahors wine and for stunning rugged scenery.
At Wakehurst Place during their 2002 visit
If you would like to know more about the group, you can visit their website: