Lisa

Jan 152018
 

The Nelson Monday Night Dance turns 40 years old in 2018! Back in January of 1978, Peter Temple had the idea to create a friendly, weeknight dance. The dance was held at Clark Hall in Harrisville for the first five years, and then moved to Nelson where it’s been ever since.

The Monadnock Folklore Society will hold two anniversary parties.

The first will be held on Monday, January 15th. The goal is to recreate those early dances to the extent possible. If you called, played music, or danced at Clark Hall in the late 1970s, please come and tell your friends. This is a regular Monday dance — it will begin at 8 PM and finish at 10:30 PM in the Nelson Town Hall.

The second will be held on Saturday, April 28th. We’ll be celebrating the entire 40 years of the Monday dance.  Plans are taking shape and may include a potluck supper. The location will be the Nelson Town Hall. If you can only come to one of these events, come to this one.

 Posted by on January 15, 2018 at 10:34 am
Jan 062018
 

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the Peterborough, NH First Saturday Contra Dance on January 6th, featuring Steve Zakon-Anderson calling with fiddler Perin Ellsworth-Heller, Samuel Foucher on accordion, Tad Dreis playing guitar and harmonica, Garrett Cameron on whistle and banjo ukulele and Gordon Peery on piano.

Contra dance is a fun, easy style of folk dance which has flourished in New England since the 1700s. Partners form lines and dance a short sequence of steps with their neighbors. Over the course of the dance, each couple travels the length of the line and dances with every other couple. Dancers are welcome to bring a partner or a group of friends but it’s not necessary – traditionally, dancers are encouraged to change partners throughout the evening.

Dance caller Steve Zakon-Anderson has been leading contra dances for over 25 years. He has performed at dance camps and festivals from Alaska to Florida. Steve’s clear teaching, precise calling and sense of humor have made him a favorite of dancers of all ages and abilities.

Fiddler Perin Ellsworth-Heller grew up playing at the Nelson Monday night contra dance. He received the Johnny Trombly scholarship for traditional dance music in 2009 when he was 14 years old. He will be joined by Samuel Foucher on accordion, Garrett Cameron on whistle and banjo-lin, Tad Dreis playing harmonica and guitar and Gordon Peery on piano.

The dancing begins at 8:00 PM. The dance also hosts a free jam session for beginning and intermediate musicians at 6:30 PM and a workshop for new dancers at 7:30 PM.

Admission is $10 or $7 for students and seniors.

The dance takes place in the historic Town House in Peterborough, NH at 1 Grove Street. For more information call 603.762.0235 or visit www.monadnockfolk.org. The Monadnock Folklore Society has presented contra dances and concerts of traditional music since 1982.

 Posted by on January 6, 2018 at 1:21 pm
Oct 092017
 

Jeff Warner, photographed at Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth, NH.
Photograph by Ralph Morang

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents a concert on Friday, November 10th, commemorating the 250th anniversary of the founding of the town of Nelson, featuring folklorist Jeff Warner performing Songs of Old New Hampshire.

Drawing heavily on the repertoire of traditional singer Lena Bourne Fish (1873-1945) of Jaffrey and Temple, New Hampshire, Jeff Warner offers the songs and stories that, in the words of Carl Sandburg, tell us “where we came from and what brought us along.” These ballads, love songs and comic pieces, reveal the experiences and emotions of daily life in the days before movies, sound recordings and, for some, books. Songs from the lumber camps, the decks of sailing ships, the textile mills and the war between the sexes offer views of pre-industrial New England and a chance to hear living artifacts from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Jeff Warner connects 21st-century audiences with the music and everyday lives of 19th-century people. Warner accompanies his songs on concertina, banjo, guitar and several “pocket instruments,” such as bones and Jew’s harp. Warner is a Folklorist and Community Scholar for the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and was a 2007 State Arts Council Fellow. He has toured nationally for the Smithsonian Institution and has recorded for Flying Fish/Rounder Records and other labels. Jeff Warner’s web page: http://www.jeffwarner.com

The concert begins at 8:00 PM and admission is free thanks to the generosity of the Town of Nelson and a grant from the New Hampshire Humanities Council.

The concert will take place in the historic Town Hall in Nelson, NH at 7 Nelson Common Road. For more information call 603-762-0235 or visit http://monadnockfolk.org.

 Posted by on October 9, 2017 at 4:03 pm
Sep 152017
 

Several people interviewed for this story described contra dancing as what you would see in a Jane Austen film. That might be more accurate if Jane Austen’s characters danced barefoot, wore Fitbits and moved so vigorously they had to stop to dry their face off with a towel or change their clothes. And if they cared less about class. While Jane Austen’s characters are typically nobility and spend much of their time concerned with status, this dance feels uniquely egalitarian.

http://www.nhmagazine.com/September-2017/Swing-Shift/

 Posted by on September 15, 2017 at 11:02 am
Jan 252016
 

The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, in partnership with the Monadnock Folklore Society and the Monadnock Center for History and Culture, is sponsoring an exhibit about the Granite State’s tradition of social dancing at Milne Special Collections, Milne Library, University of New Hampshire Durham from Jan. 16-March 11, 2016.

“Traditional Dance and Music in New Hampshire: 1750-today” traces the long history of contra and social dance music throughout the region, especially in the southwestern part of the state.

Irish, Scottish, English and French Canadian traditions all contribute to New Hampshire’s dance traditions. Dances are similar to square dancing but are generally performed in lines to live music played by fiddles and piano. Banjos, mandolins and guitars may also be heard at contra dances.

Community social dances have been happening in New Hampshire continuously since before the Revolutionary War.

The exhibit features artifacts, documents, instruments, photographs and audio recordings.

There is no charge to view the exhibit.

The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts is a division of the New Hampshire Department of Cultural Resources. It began in 1965 with legislation designed “to insure that the role of the arts in the life of our communities will continue to grow and play an ever more significant part in the education and welfare of our citizens.” Funding for programs is provided through state appropriations, a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Conservation License Plate fund. Learn more about the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts at www.nh.gov/nharts.

NH Council Arts 50 years logo

 Posted by on January 25, 2016 at 2:08 pm
Apr 142015
 

Bob McQuillen spoke at the Nelson Town Hall for a Nelson Library Summer Forum on July 14, 2011.

Our thanks to Rich Rommer for taking this video, to CJ Leake for additional audio, and to David Millstone for making it available on YouTube.

 

 

 Posted by on April 14, 2015 at 4:33 pm
Jan 072015
 

Monadnock Folklore Society events are “CDSS Passport to Joy” destinations for 2015.

Anyone who joins the Country Dance and Song Society in 2015 will receive a Passport to Joy! Join online at www.cdss.org/join.

We will have stickers available to stamp your CDSS Passport at the Snow Ball, the Nelson Monday dance, and the monthly Peterborough dances.

CDSS Logo

 Posted by on January 7, 2015 at 1:01 pm
Dec 072014
 

Sacred Harp singing is much more than an interesting repertoire of early American three and four part a cappella folk music. It is a living tradition that treads an unbroken path prior to the Civil War and whose music can be directly traced as a distinct musical thread back beyond the American Revolution, through to rural England, back to Reformation psalmody and beyond to Renaissance polyphony.

http://fasola.org/introduction/

Come try out Shape Note singing on the 1st and 3rd Thursday, and the 2nd Sunday, of every month in Nelson NH.

 Posted by on December 7, 2014 at 4:39 pm
Sep 162014
 

On Monday, September 29th, the world-famous Monday Night Dance returns to the newly renovated Nelson Town Hall.

Here’s a picture of one of our stalwart volunteers working on the repair of the floor.

Max Fixing the Floor, with Don as crew chief and Chris as fixer #2

Max Fixing the Floor, with Don as crew chief and Chris as fixer #2

See this post for more information about the project.

 Posted by on September 16, 2014 at 5:23 pm