Folk group formed in 1987, they have, for more than thirty years, acquired the dances

of the past and even taught them to both Jean-Marc Jacquier and the dancers of Feufliâzhe.


Photo Alain Gac

The “gapians” are the customs officers because, in the past as in the present, there are borders to cross: between the kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia and the Republic of Geneva, between the kingdom of Savoy and Napoleonic France or, more recently, between the departments of Savoy and Haute-Savoie.

Praz-sur-Arly (from “praz” or “pratz”, pronounced “pra” in francoprovençal which means field) is a village located on the Arly River, formerly known as Praz-sur-Megève. Pralins' desire for independence created a definitive split with Megève and brought to the foundation of a new village.

Surely it is true that there are only 5 km between Praz-sur-Arly and Megève, in Haute-Savoie, North-East direction, and it is also true that walking the same amount of km on the opposite direction, South-West, you can reach Flumet, in Savoy! Here you find the borders we mentioned before!

Nonetheless the original meaning of the word “gapians”, the members of the group rather prefer to being associate with the second meaning of this term which compares them to a rogue, to someone who likes to have fun.

Lou Gapians are trying to revive the traditional customs of their village through their songs and by their sometimes furious dances which mimic household or remarriage scenes and tell the story of the various assembly of the two villages.


Photo Alain Gac

They wear beautiful costumes embellished by the classical Sunday hat, the vest and the black pants for men, the "mostieu" which is the handkerchief, and especially the beautiful woolen jacket of the Val d'Arly, the “maille”, as it is called (...and we hope it won’t be too hot for this month of July!).

Women have shawls in stamen wool or silk embroidered by “gapiannes” themselves. The “béguine” (which is the bonnet as known in francoprovençal) is a black or white headdress, made according to tradition by President Paulette Perrin. On the delicate lace collar stand out the gold or silver cross which often has interlacing or a sliding heart to hold the cord, worn around the neck and generally produced in Turin.

Members attending this festival edition:Adrien, Alice, Benoît et Maryline Bebon, Gaby Duval, Céline, Maëlle et Patrice Evrard, Alain Gac, Kevin Grange, Gall Magnin, Marie-Claude Molliet, Cyril Morand, Etienne Pateau, Paulette et Raymond Perrin, Maryse Socquet-Clerc, Jeannine Tissot.

On their website you can find all the info about musicians, dancers, children, costumes, group origins and, moreover, photos and newspapers articles about their various gatherings.


Photo Alain Gac

In February 2014 the dancers of the Feufliâzhe workshop accompanied by Jean-Marc Jacquier, attended a ball night and shared several dances with Lou Gapians. Three of these dances, collected and passed down by the elders when the group was founded - such as, for example, the dance collected from Raymond Bochaton on November 22, 1989, as the date inscribed on the score -, were selected for the DVD-book on “Dances of Savoy” produced by Guillaume Veillet and Alain Basso . On July 7th, we invite you to come and ask to the Gapians and the dancers of Feufliâzhe to dance for and with you “La Croix des dames” of Praz-sur-Arly, the “Crochuse” of Praz-sur-Arly and “Petit-Jean” of Praz-sur-Arly. This book-DVD "Danses de Savoie et du Valais - Carnet de bal de Jean-Marc Jacquier" will be presented for the first time at Feufliâzhe and you all will be able to purchase it on spot and learn with it these three dances and much more.

The group will perform in several occasions on Sunday afternoon

Lecture on Savoie dances by Guillaume Veillet  on Saturday from 7pm to 8pm.

Contacts :