Cloud 10: Cedar Stanistreet fiddle Donal Sheets guitar, cello Arthur Davis piano, banjo, trumpet Ness Smith-Savedoff drums

☼ ☼ ☼ Contra Dance in Peterborough NH on Saturday, September 7, 2019

 The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the Peterborough, NH First Saturday Contra Dance on September 7 featuring Dereck Kalish calling with the band Cloud Ten.

Caller Dereck Kalish specializes in teaching dances that are fun for all, whether brand-new to dancing or a long-time contra dancer.

The band Cloud Ten is Cedar Stanistreet, fiddle; Donal Sheets, guitar and cello; Arthur Davis, piano, banjo, trumpet; and Ness Smith-Savedoff on drums. Cedar Stanistreet is well versed in both traditional fiddle and classical violin. He studied violin performance at the Crane School of Music, and violin-making at the North Bennet Street School. Donal Sheets played jazz bass and classical cello from a very young age and has spent many years playing American and Irish folk music on cello and a variety of other instruments.

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.

Dudley Laufman Calls in Nelson Saturday, August 10, 2019

Dudley Laufman will lead the dancing for a Nelson Contra Dance on August 10 at 7 PM, admission is $2.

On a recent episode of the NH Public Radio program, The Exchange, host Laura Knoy said, “When he raised the roof at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 with his country orchestra, Dudley Laufman energized the youthful crowd and helped re-light the torch for traditional country dancing that had been carried at the time by a few old-timers. He helped create a movement of contra dancing and contra music that has played out in the churches and barns of small-town New England for more than half a century.” Dudley was named a National Heritage Fellow in 2009 and received the NH Council of the Arts Folk Heritage Award in 2001.

The “country dance” tradition came to the colonies from England. Two forms of community dances evolved in New England – contra dances, done in lines with partners facing one another, and square dances, featuring sets of four couples. After the Revolutionary War, dances such as these, associated with England, fell out of favor, except in the rural areas of the Northeast where they continued in informal settings such as kitchen parties and barn dances. By the 1950s, the tradition had all but died out except in towns like Nelson, NH. However, in 1948 Laufman called his first dance, and in the decades that followed he helped propel this tradition into the 21st century.

Dudley Laufman, joined by several of his musician friends, is a tradition at the August Nelson dance.

Dancing begins at 7:00 PM. Families, new dancers and singles are welcome and all dances are taught throughout the evening. 

Admission is $2, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous sponsor. The dance takes place in the historic Town Hall in Nelson, NH. For more information call 603.762.0235 or visit www.monadnockfolk.org.

 

☼ ☼ ☼ Contra Dance in Peterborough on Saturday, July 6, 2019

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the Peterborough, NH First Saturday Contra Dance on July 6, featuring Tod Whittemore calling with the Sugar River Band.

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.

Caller Tod Whittemore has been calling dances for forty years, having been lucky enough to begin his career at the time when famous callers Ralph Page and Duke Miller were still active in the Monadnock Region. Tod has called dances all over the world and is known for his humor, energy, and infectious love of dancing.

The Sugar River Band is led by Jane Orzechowski of Newport, NH. She will be joined by her children Francis, Sophie, and Russell playing piano, fiddle, and accordion. Traditional arts apprenticeship grants from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts have helped to support each of them to learn contra dance music. They’ll be joined by Peterborough’s Sarah Bauhan on whistles and flute.

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.

 

Photo of Alex Cumming

☼ ☼ ☼ Contra Dance in Peterborough NH on Saturday, May 4, 2019

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the Peterborough, NH First Saturday Contra Dance on May 4, featuring Dave Eisenstadter calling with Alex Cumming, Carol Bittenson and Len Bittenson.

Dave Eisenstadter learned to call contra dances at the Nelson, NH, contra dance and now performs around New England. He is also a journalist who began his career writing for the Peterborough Ledger-Transcript and the Keene Sentinel.

Alex Cumming is a traditional singer and accordionist hailing from Somerset, England who now lives in Boston, MA. Alex has made his mark on the folk scene with his rhythmic danceable accordion style and engaging stage presence. Carol and Len Bittenson are both dynamic fiddlers.

Contra dance is a fun, relaxed 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. 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.

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.

☼ ☼ ☼ Peterborough Play Ball on Saturday, April 6, 2019

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the Peterborough, Play Ball on April 6, featuring Adina Gordon calling with Maivish (Jaige Trudel, Adam Broome and Matthew Olwell) and Steve Zakon-Anderson calling with CoinciDance (Susan Creighton, Eric Martin, Eric Buddington, Josh Pisano and Tony Pisano).

The dancing begins at 6:00 PM with waltzing to music by Maivish. Adina will call with Maivish from 6:30 PM until 8:50 PM. Steve Zakon-Anderson will call with CoinciDance from 9:10 PM until midnight.

Admission is $15-18 or $12 for high school students.

The dance takes place in the historic Town House in Peterborough, NH at 1 Grove Street. For more information call 413-369-4369.

 

☼ ☼ ☼ Peterborough First Saturday Contra Dance on Saturday March 2, 2019

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the Peterborough, NH First Saturday Contra Dance on March 2, featuring Luke Donforth calling with the band Anadama.

Anadama is Amelia Mason (fiddle), Emily Troll (accordion), and Bethany Waickman (guitar). The trio finds its roots in the traditional music of New England, Ireland, and Quebec. Infusing old and new tunes alike with a distinctly modern kick, it is dynamic, earthy music.

Dance caller Luke Donforth started contra dancing a decade ago in New York and has called and shared his love of contra dancing from California to Texas to Vermont. He’s an emerging choreographer of new dances and draws on the wealth of dances and dance traditions from everywhere he travels.

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.

☼ ☼ ☼ Peterborough First Saturday Contra Dance on Saturday February 2, 2019

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the Peterborough, NH First Saturday Contra Dance on February 2, featuring Dugan Murphy calling with the band Riptide.

Riptide features Glen Loper on mandolin, Alden Robinson on fiddle, and Owen Marshall on guitar. The band is based in Maine but travels throughout the U.S. and beyond. Dugan Murphy is a contra dance caller from Portland, ME, currently performing across the U.S. and Canada.

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.