☼ ☼ ☼ Peterborough Contra Dance on Saturday, December 7, 2019

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the Peterborough, NH First Saturday Contra Dance on December 7, featuring Lisa Greenleaf calling with Dave Langford, Jeremiah McLane and Eric McDonald.

Lisa Greenleaf is a contra dance caller known for her humor and community-building attitude, her high-energy calling, and her articulate teaching of zesty and flowing dances. Lisa has been calling for many years throughout the USA and internationally for dances, weekends, and weeklong camps.

Fiddler Dave Langford is an experienced and versatile veteran of 20 years of playing for contra dances. Dave combines multiple styles of fiddling with fierce energy and drive.

The music of composer, accordionist, and pianist Jeremiah McLane is a unique blend of Franco-American, Celtic, jazz, and roots influenced music.

Guitarist Eric McDonald is one of New England’s premier acoustic performers and instructors. Born and raised in the Boston area, Eric studied at Berklee College of Music under the tutelage of John McGann, Eugene Friesen and many other world class musicians.

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.

☼ ☼ ☼ Nelson Solstice Party | Nelson Town Hall on December 21, 2019

On Saturday, December 21, we’ll hold our Annual Solstice Party starting at 7:00 PM. The Monadnock Folklore Society brings this community event to the Nelson Town Hall each year, admission is $5, and treats are appreciated for the dessert potluck.

This year the evening will begin with a holiday concert featuring a selection of traditional and original seasonal music performed by The Solstice Sisters(Alouette Iselin, Melanie Everard, Kim Wallach, & Heather Bower) and friends.

The Folklore Society invites you to bring along your favorite holiday dessert and we’ll supply the beverages for the intermission. After the concert, the chairs and benches are cleared to make way for a traditional New England Contra Dance. Unfortunately, or not, the dance is often interrupted by various groups of unsavory characters presenting their idea of seasonal entertainment. These diversions, sometimes involving costumed individuals making complete fools of themselves or performing ancient ritual dances to help us through this dark time of the year, are generally tolerated as once they are applauded and fed we can return to dancing the night away.

☼ ☼ ☼ Contra Dance in Peterborough on Saturday, October 5, 2019

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the Peterborough, NH First Saturday Contra Dance on October 5 featuring Steve Zakon-Anderson calling with the band Stomp Rocket.

Dance caller Steve Zakon-Anderson has been leading contra dances for over 35 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.

Music for the dance will be provided by Stomp Rocket.  They are Dave Langford from Boston (fiddle), Glen Loper from Portland, ME (mandolin, banjo, percussion), and Bethany Waickman, also from Portland, ME (guitar).

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.

 

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.