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.