Episode 1 Llangollen


Episode 1

Sara Edwards presents highlights of this colourful annual festival of music and dance, founded in 1947 to promote peace and understanding between nations.


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Welcome to Llangollen and the first of two highlights programmes from

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the 2011 International Eisteddfod. The pavilion is getting ready for

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tonight's concert. There is a week's worth of events him at

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Llangollen, and he was a taste of what is becoming tonight's

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programme. Our pick of the coral and dance competitions. We meet

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this year's star performers Lulu and Russell Watson. We will be out

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and about experiencing the magic of Llangollen. What better way of

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starting our highlights then that the colourful opening parade

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through the town. Worry from? Bradford, in West

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Yorkshire. Have you been before? came two years ago. How does it

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compare to last time? It is brilliant. Whereabouts? Perth.

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Hello, whereabouts in Canada after you from? Alberta. How long are you

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here? 16 days. Is at your first visit? This is the second time we

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have been here. It is great to see Hello, welcome to Wales. Hello.

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do you say hello in your language? What do you think of Llangollen?

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is a very beautiful town. I love Wales. What does Llangollen mean to

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you, do come all this way? It is such an honour to be here. We are

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so excited and the children are so excited to give America this

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Welcome to Wales. Are you having a great time? Yes, great time,

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thousands of people. What are you doing in the competition? Singing,

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of course. We are from Slovakia, singing in three categories. It is

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not just about the parade. Llangollen is an all-inclusive

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Dancing Music singing experience and for the people who watch it as

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well. What do you enjoy about it?

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colour, the music, it is so inspiring. I can't sing or play

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As well as attracting international competitors, Wales has always been

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well represented at Llangollen and taking part for the very first time

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this year Cor Ysgol y Strade and we followed their preparations for the

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children's competition. It is such a privilege, competing at

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Llangollen with the other groups and they are from different

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countries. It is an honour to be there, when we found out we were in

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shock. When we think of Llangollen has just the world. We have been

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practising every day, every dinner time, after school. We don't see

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the light of day. Never, not really. Keeping them indoors and to on

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their toes is Christopher Davies. Since we were able to compete in

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Llangollen, it has been non-stop between concerts and recordings. It

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has been quite a challenge to fit everything in, to be quite honest.

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Mr Davies is amazing. He is really fun. Really good. He makes us laugh.

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He is nice. He criticises us sometimes but he gives us words of

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praise. It is a scary feeling to be completing a with kids choirs from

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all over the world. It makes you wonder if we are good enough.

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pressure is on. There accompanist is the head of music. The school

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children will gain valuable experience in this international

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festival. I think it will be an experience that will stay with them

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I expect we are going to have really good fun, nice food. We're

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going to enjoy it and we're hoping And after all of that hard

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rehearsing, here is CoA is gone Ystrad Rhondda stage. -- Cor Ysgol

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 48 seconds

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Now to Perth, Australia, and the I am delighted to say I am with, in

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the very middle of the Young Voices of Colorado, and we have Victoria

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and police. I am right in thinking you have a very in rock -- a very

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strong Welsh collection, haven't you? Yes, most of my family is from

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Wales and my grandma is from Wales and here today. It must be like

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coming home to you? Yes, it is Five years ago a 10-year-old girl

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took the Llangollen stage by storm and since then she has starred in

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Britain's Got Talent. Soprano Faryl Smith is back in Llangollen and

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supporting Harold -- old choir, masquerade, with whom she has also

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appeared here. The last time I came, we won. It was quite a nice way to

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end it. We know you now from your solo career, which is going great

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places. You have been sharing the billing this week in the Tuesday

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night concert with Russell Watson, but today, you are supporting

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Masquerade. They are fantastic, it is fantastic. Now, it is a two-way

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thing. You are her Grace's fans come aren't you? -- greatest fans,

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As part of a very strong competition this year, the senior

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children's choir from Croatia appeared on the stage after

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spending two-and-a-half solid days And so to that all important

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announcement. And the marks. Methodist Ladies College, total 170.

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Young Voices of Colorado, 164. Children's Choir Brevis, Croatia,

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178. Masquerade, England, 174. Cor Congratulations to Croatia, first

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place to them. And a very proud second place to his glory strap. --

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Cor Ysgol y Strade. How you feeling about it? I'm very

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proud of them. It is a relatively new choir? It is a normal school

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choir, we will be back next year. We will be waited with bated breath.

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Well done, all of you. They do. we're at one of the most iconic

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places near by. After six years of campaigning the

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great Llangollen aqueduct can shut -- can proudly stand shoulder to

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shoulder with the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge, as a World

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Heritage Site. One can argue that only in gamble -- and Llangollen

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can you get such a dramatic backdrop mixed with a dance group

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The Dance Group was formed in 2002, to promote gunmen culture. They

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have ambitions to establish their own international festival, their

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version of the Eisteddfod in Ghana, perhaps. The dances inspired by the

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The President of the International Eisteddfod is Terry Waite and his

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many responsibilities during the week includes welcoming all the

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nations to the Llangollen pavilion Terry, it is lovely to meet you.

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is very nice to be here, even though today is a little damp. It

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has not dampened the its spirits of the Eisteddfod, as you come here

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with the children in the background. It doesn't. What does Eisteddfod

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mean to you? A great deal. Ordinary people from here, and from Wales,

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build on what is natural to Wales, which is music and the language of

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music and news that to work for peace. Because here, in this little

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town in Wales, people come from every part of the world and young

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people especially and they form relationships across cultural

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boundaries come across religious boundaries, which last a lifetime.

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It is 20 years ago this year that you were held hostage in the

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Lebanon. It is 65 years ago this year at Llangollen was born, so all

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of those things have a special resonance, don't they? That is true.

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I don't tend to remember days very well but I do remember when I came

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out and I came out into a world that was still confused and it is

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still confused today. I do think we live in an age when people tend to

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go to walk too quickly, rather than talk and rather than get together.

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I think for instance of groups that came here, the Chechen children,

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they came from the most appalling background. Wonderful performance

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they put on. I spoke to those kids, there wasn't one child who hadn't

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had a relative who hadn't been either killed or injured in the

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conflict, yet they came with that marvellous vivacious spirit. It was

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drawn out from them by the rest of it. I think the future is good. I

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dashed by the Eisteddfod. It will continue to attract people from all

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over the world and with the spirit that has emanated from this place

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since 1947. We will do it. When I was invited to be President I said,

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you don't want me, I'm not Welsh. They said, this is the

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International Eisteddfod and it is Wales'' contribution, one of

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Wales'' contribution to the world. I'm very proud to be associated

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with it. Over the years the whole host of celebrity artists have

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performed here at Llangollen, from Pavarotti, Katherine Jenkins, to

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Shirley Bassey. Rocking her way I am so thrilled to be in

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Llangollen. This is a very famous festival. You have the most

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unbelievable people here. I am very honoured. I have been performing in

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front of Welsh audiences for 47 years. That is since I was 15 years

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old. The great thing is that, it is actually not so great, the

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audience's sing better than I do. But I like it when I hear a Welsh

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boys because there is nothing like a Welsh boys. Surrey, Glasgow! -- a

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Welsh voice. Sharing the stage was the Eighties pop Blair don't, Rick

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It was kind of strange because my first song, I was lucky to have it,

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it was a bit hit around the world. It can become a bit of a stone

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around your neck, because far a long time I was, not sick to death

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of it, but I had had enough of it. The past five or six years, I have

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got into singing publicly again, not just at friends' weddings. I

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enjoy singing the old songs again now. When I hear the intro, it

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This is what makes me tick. I am 62, and I will probably do this until

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the day I die. It is all about the music. The Welsh a know about

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singing. You know all about how important it is too... It is a

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muscle, and if you do not work it, it will get smaller and not be so

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powerful. All my secrets, I have given new! I have met Lulu before

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but I have never sung with her. She sings for six or seven hours. I

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have said to her that she will have be stopped doing it. If there is a

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microphone there, she was saying. Her voice is amazing. She goes for

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The Llangollen International Music festival was established in

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reaction to the second world war, to help heal the wounds of war and

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to promote peace and understanding bit dreamy nations. Culture, music

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and dance can play a part in rebuilding relationships. Tent-

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pegging was initially division of Harold to death. He took his vision

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to Llangollen where a musicologist receive the idea with a great deal

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of enthusiasm. In June 1946, a public meeting was held at the Town

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Hall in Llangollen and the new international project was announced

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with invitations sent to choirs Is anybody here who understands

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music? Yes! Just give me a hand to move this piano. They came and they

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have been coming here since ever since. As the visitors arrived,

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they needed somewhere to stay. afternoon. Can you help us to find

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some accommodation? Yes, I think we can help you. While we are waiting

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to see if you can help these girls, perhaps you can tell me how many

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people you have accommodated this year? Our private accommodation has

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accommodated, I should think, well over 600 people. One or two nights?

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You can decide tomorrow? I have to decide today because someone else

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might need the accommodation tomorrow. I believe you have some

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camp bed accommodation? I am in charge of the camp bed

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accommodation. We have approximately 600 camp beds in

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various buildings. Excuse me. Hello? Yes, what a breath?

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Llangollen has been a welcoming home for groups of 65 years and in

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the period, it has witnessed a huge social and cultural changes

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including a South African group, reflecting the new post apartheid

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era. We have become a rainbow nation and we have come into the

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international Rainbow. We have come to enhance the rainbow of the

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nation and we are very proud. Am I right? Yes! In 1955, a young tenor

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came to Llangollen as part of a competing male voice choir from

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Italy. Require one and the fires -- the choir one and the tent-pegging

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left a lasting impression on the 40 years later, Pavarotti returned

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to the International Pavilion in a spectacular gala concert, welcoming

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him back to a stage that meant so APPLAUSE.

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It is the first day of the tent- pegging and it is children's day

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and we have local schoolchildren promoting a message of peace and

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goodwill. We have a whole pavilion full of children getting to enjoy a

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world-class performances. One of the most colourful performances

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came from disquiet from the Ukraine. I like to St. It was really good

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I like watching the people dance because I have never seen at that

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APPLAUSE. Not only do they get to enjoy the shows, schoolchildren

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from the Llangollen area get to It was a really good show. We got

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the audience going more this year. It was really fun. It made me get

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up off my seat and go like this... It was really fun. The star of the

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show was this man. Here's the former chairman of the Notting Hill

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Carnival. Have you been here before? This is my third time. It

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is so beautiful. I like it. And why do you keep coming back? A the

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management invited me here to take over at what they were doing and

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what I did with the Notting Hill Carnival. Let us see how we can

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I am here now and I am looking forward to next year. Why they are

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told to -- while they are talking about the Olympic, let us make an

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international song and dance their Olympics here. Bring people from

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the smoke and fog of London and bring them here. Thank you very

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much. Wicked, so stuff. PC! standard of the instrumental

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soloists is always very high. At just 13-year-old, the skull from

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 48 seconds

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Hong Kong was a very accomplished With me now is a special guest who

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has been keeping an eye and the tapping their feet watching the

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first dance competition of the week what adults here at tent-pegging. I

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am sure many of us recognise her. Welcome. We know that you know that

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you know what you are talking about. What were your impressions of the

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competition? It was a very high standard. It is always beautiful,

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the costumes are fantastic. There is such a variety. I think, to be

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honest, I would have hated to be one of the judges because the

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standard was so high and it is hard to compare. They are also good

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within their own styles. How do you compare them? Who stayed out?

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first group that took my type were from India. They had beautiful

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costumes, red and gold. They were very elegant dancers, they had a

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very slow approach and they were A group from Newcastle, they were

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very impressive. They had very specific skills and the way they

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interacted with each other and the skills that they had a with props

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were incredible. They were very agile men.

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It is not just about agility, each dance that tells a story, doesn't

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it? Yes, you want to be taught and educated about whatever style you

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are watching at the time. The more information you can get, the more

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you are going to enjoy it. The dancers from the Ukraine, they were

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such an exciting group of girls To Watch, there were so many of them,

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they were beautifully dressed. The energy needed for this style of

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dance is huge. The group from Northern Ireland,

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they are always impressive and this year, they were better again. They

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are always so professional and they make everything look so easy and

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barefoot work is so technical. I do not really know how they all

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managed to do it. We have been all around the world. What about the

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group from Wales? They were lovely. They really managed to capture the

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Welsh spirit that we had, the fairground feel, it was such a

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relaxed environment, very enjoyable. The standard of the clog-dancing

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was very high. It was lovely. you had to choose, if you were the

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judge, who would win top prize? I said, I would not want to be the

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judge, but if it was my personal opinion, I would go for... Let us

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It was actually this dance groups from Brittany who received the

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first prize. A surprise? Yes, I am surprised. They were not so much to

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my taste. I can see why the judges would have been impressed by the

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Here we are, live backstage with the performers of tonight's concert.

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Terry Waite himself is appearing as the voice of God. There will be

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Live from the International Eisteddfod field in Llangollen, Sara Edwards presents highlights of this colourful annual festival of music and dance, founded in 1947 to promote peace and understanding between nations.


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