When I (Astrid) started playing folkmusic as a teenager in the 1980’s I had several role models, both young and old. But the master who gave me my view on how to play the “old way” to dance, with the right movement in the bow-arm, must have been Curt Johansson. 88 years old he still is fit, probably due to his former life as an acrobat, traveling around south Sweden in the 1940’s and 1950’s together with his wife.
Curt and his wife Maj invited us for a chat and coffee. We stayed the whole morning and came to talk about how to dance the mazurka, the tradition of may singing, how to play the fiddle and how the folkmusic tradition was kept alive from the 1970’s.
Curt told us about his uncle who could dance the mazurka the old way. That is that he danced the rompedarra, and let the whole body move the music. The ladies from the folk dance team didn’t have chance to keep up with him. Curt also gave us some nice perspectives on life, when talking about his “young apprentice”. We assumed it was someone in his 20’s, but actually he was 72! You learn all your life!