A group of square dance enthusiasts has launched a digital library and website (SquareDanceHistory.org) that takes a broad look at square dancing now as well as the historical antecedents of today’s squares. Please share this news and the link with others who might be interested!
The project’s primary focus is to collect good examples of moving images—more than 400 videos so far—that document square dancing in its many forms. This includes New England dosido and western docey-do, barn dances and hoedowns, stately quadrilles and rip-roarin’ squares of the 1950s, as well as modern square dance programs from Mainstream to Challenge. The site also includes interviews, text, photographs, audio files, and much more.
Among the many treats awaiting you:
•Rare footage of the Lloyd Shaw’s Cheyenne Mountain Dancers, plus a black and white silent film (1955) showing square dances in Central City, Colorado
•A set of 100 high-definition videos filmed at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC, with six nationally-known square dance callers, and a set of 25 additional videotaped interviews.
•More than 150 items related to MWSD, including an article by Jim Mayo looking at the early years, illustrated with live recordings from the 1940s and 1950s
•Elizabeth Burchenal’s silent footage of southern Appalachian mountain squares from the early 1930s
•A curated assortment of more than 400 videos showing dancing from Newfoundland and Quebec to the American Southwest
•Exhibits showcasing items in the collection, on such diverse topics as the pioneering work of Lloyd Shaw in Colorado to an in-depth look at dances from Maryland Line, Virginia
The site is a work in progress, and additional material will be added regularly to the collection. The home page offers a way to contribute additional items; the organizers are especially interested in locating home movie footage from decades past.
Financial support for the project comes from Country Dance and Song Society, CALLERLAB, the Lloyd Shaw Foundation, and Arts-Dance – Alliance of Round, Traditional, and Square-Dance.
CDSS has also announced the release of a CD-ROM of the Dare to be Square mega-event held November 18-20, 29011 at the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC with callers Bob Dalsemer, Larry Edelman, Phil Jamison, Bill Litchman, Jim Mayo, and Tony Parkes. Contains 78 page PDF with transcription of all 80 dances taught at the weekend, plus teaching, and discussions. CD with 158 cuts, and 10.2 hours of content, both walkthroughs and calling for all dances taught at the weekend.
Available for pre-order from the CDSS Store