Why do people love English Country Dance so much?
• English Country Dance (ECD) lover, Linda Repasky from Amherst, Massachusetts claims, “for many, it’s the music – hauntingly beautiful tunes that make the heart swell.” ECD enthusiasts enjoy dancing to live music made up of very old tunes that range from sweet and melodic, melancholy, or upbeat and driven. Others love ECD for “the trance and elegance with which you glide as you dance…there’s an undefinable quality to ECD that makes it energizing, mesmerizing and just plain fun.”
• Carl Dreher, ECD enthusiast and Winter Dance Week instructor says, “Falling breathlessly in love again, every 32 bars.”
• Brasstown local, Martha Owen says, “When it’s good, it’s really really good!”
If this inspires you to dust off your favorite Jane Austen-inspired dress and coax your Colin Firth look-alike partner onto the dance floor we would love for you to join us for a weekend of “trance” and “elegance” here at the John C. Campbell Folk School. The Folk School is hosting English Country Dance Weekend, May 2 – 4, 2014.
Here is an an example of EDC from Winter Dance Week at the Folk School with caller Joanna Reiner and music by Foxfire:
You will enjoy a lovely weekend of English Country dances from the “Playford” dances of the 17th and 18th centuries to the village dances collected during the 20th century, as well as the many inventive contemporary dances in English style by choreographers from England, America and Europe. All dancing is to glorious live music by popular English Country dance band, A Joyful Noise, Barbara Greenberg (fiddle), Kathy Talvitie (piano), Daniel Beebohm (clarinet, flute, pennywhistle) along with Mara Shea (fiddle) and Atossa Kramer (piano, recorder, accordion). Some previous contra, international folk or English Country dance experience is highly recommended for this weekend.
Expect a special appearance by our local Brasstown Morris dance teams, fresh cut, blooming spring branches in hand, for our annual May Pole parade and dance in honor of May Day.
Meet your dance leaders:
Gene has been actively involved in English Country dancing for over 35 years as a musician, dancer and caller. He teaches regularly in the New York area, and is frequently on staff as Pinewoods Camp and other workshops around the country and in England. He is past president of the American Recorder Society.
Bob has been calling for more than 40 years throughout the U.S. and in Canada, Denmark, Belgium, Russia and the Czech Republic. He has recently retired as the Music & Dance Coordinator for the John C. Campbell Folk School after almost 22 years and in 2011, he received the CDSS’s Lifetime Contribution Award.
Annie Fain is a native of the crafts and music/dance community of Brasstown and is now the Folk School’s Music & Dance Coordinator. She teaches a variety of classes at the school including book arts, clawhammer banjo, Appalachian clogging, and waltz clogging. Annie Fain plays banjo and banjo uke for the all-woman string band, Blue Eyed Girl, and has danced with both Loafers Glory Clog Morris and the Green Grass Cloggers. She continues to sell her handmade books, greeting cards, and original watercolors regionally and always wishes there were more time in a day!