☼ ☼ ☼ Contra Dancing in New Hampshire — Then and Now with Dudley Laufman

Jacqueline and Dudley photo by Ken Williams
Jacqueline and Dudley
photo by Ken Williams

The Monadnock Center for History and Culture has received a grant from the New Hampshire Humanities Council to present “Contra Dancing in New Hampshire — Then and Now” by Dudley Laufman on Saturday, March 14th at 10:00 AM, in Bass Hall at 19 Grove Street in Peterborough, NH.

This program is free and open to the public.

Since the late 1600s, the lively tradition of contra dancing has kept people of all ages swinging and sashaying in barns, town halls and schools around the state. Contra dancing came to New Hampshire by way of the English colonists and remains popular in many communities, particularly in the Monadnock Region. Presenter Dudley Laufman brings this tradition to life with stories, poems and recordings of callers, musicians, and dancers, past and present. Live music, always integral to this dance form, will be played on the fiddle and melodeon.

Presenter Dudley Laufman received the highest honor for traditional artists, the National Heritage Fellowship, in 2009. He received the 2001 NH Governor’s Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 1999, Laufman and Jacqueline Laufman presented at the Smithsonian FolkLife Festival in Washington, DC. Laufman has been playing fiddle and calling for contra and square dances for 64 years. With his wife, Jacqueline Laufman, he authored Traditional Barn Dances and recorded several CDs.

The presentation is part of the exhibit running through May at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture, titled “Gents Bow, Ladies Know How: Traditional Dance and Music in the Monadnock Region 1750-2015.” The exhibit traces the long history of traditional dance and music in southwestern New Hampshire from Colonial times to the present.

The New Hampshire Humanities Council nurtures the joy of learning and inspires community engagement by bringing life-enhancing ideas from the humanities to the people of New Hampshire. They connect people with ideas. Learn more about the Council and its work at www.nhhc.org.

For more information call 603-924-3235 or visit www.MonadnockCenter.org.

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