Nos lowen is a relatively recent development in Cornish music and dance and may be a reaction to the more formal approaches of traditional dancing. It was initially spearheaded by the Cornish group Sowena, and traditional dancers. It places greater emphasis on simpler dances, such as snake dances and furry dances, in order to increase participation and the remove need for a caller. The movement has enjoyed a fair reception amongst the youth of the region, but has been criticised by some traditional dancers. The traditional name for a Cornish ceilidh is a troyl.
While nos lowen is essentially a dance style, an associated style of music has grown around it which is generally more progressive than many folk bands, possibly to appeal to a younger audience. It also places more emphasis on rhythms and longer songs in order to produce the tribal trance-like state associated with the repetitive dances. Exponents include Dalla.
The plural of Nos Lowen should technically be 'Nosow Lowen'. 'Nos lowen' is sometimes abbreviated by 'Nsl' online or in event listings. The earlier spelling 'Noze looan' was based on the late Cornish orthography; with the introduction of the standard written form of Cornish, the spelling 'nos lowen' is now used.
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