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Our Friends, Reynout

While the Cadence Cloggers were performing at the Folklife Festival in 1994, Lut Dierickx, a member of VVKB Reynout, saw us and when she got back home to Dendermonde Belgium, she told her brothers Joost Dierickx (President of Reynout) and Kris Dierickx (Dance Director) about a group of dancers she had seen in Texas. She told them "You gotta get them over here to perform". Well one thing led to another and in August 1996, the Cadence Cloggers landed at the Brussells Airport to begin 12 days of shows all over the northern half of Belgium.

These wonderful people of Dendermonde were gracious enough to have us live with them in their homes and as a result, they have beome our lifelong friends.

In August 1999, the Cadence Cloggers were honored by hosting Reynout in San Antonio for 12 days. In addition to branding cattle on a working cattle ranch, they performed at the Texas Folklife Festival, San Antonio College and Sea World of Texas.

So where is Dendermonde? It is in the triangel of Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp at the confluence of two rivers (Dender and Schelde). No doubt the history of this town and the 'East Flanders' Province goes back to Roman times.

Dendermonde achieved its city rights in 1233 from Robrecht I of Bethune. It became a real fortress town.

The beautiful historic monuments such as the Bell Tower, the Meat Hall and the Cloth Hall date from the fourteenth century and they form, togehther with the rich folkloric history of Dendermonde, a unique starting point to visit this beautiful town.

The greatest folkloric event is the cortege of the Ros Beiaard horse , a unique spectacle with thousands of actors, tens of wagons and the great Ros Beiaard horse which is being ridden by the Four sons of Aymon. The youngest sprout was named Reynout. It is after him we named our folkloric group which was founded in 1948.

Over the years, the group has become one of the most active cultural societies in Dendermonde. With authentic and newly created folkloric dances, folkloric music, flag swinging and drums, Reynout presents, in traditional costumes, themes such as Breughelfair, Harvest and craft-guild.

Reynout has performed at many international folkloric festivals in France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, The Netherlands, Finland, Republique of Tsjechiƫ, Denmark and South Africa and for most of the countries they have performed several times. A few years ago, Reynout won first place at the provincial competition.

But Reynout is also known for bringing other cultures to Dendermonde. Every year they organise a 'Festival Evening' with two or three foreign folkart groups and every five years they prepare an 'International Folkart Festival' which lasts for about ten days with seven folkart groups. Their last Festival took place in August 2003, where we were honored to return to Belgium to peform again.

For many years, the group membership has been between 80 and 100 members of which most are active in at least one or more subgroups such as:

  • Dance Group
  • Music Group
  • Drums and Flag Swinging
  • Puppet Theatre Kalleke Step

The founder and president of honor of Reynout, Gust Dierickx, started the puppet theater 'Kalleke Step' in 1976. It was named after the character that dances in front of the Horse Bayard.

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