Contra Dance / Contradance
Essays

Collections of Essays
Contra Dance, Beyond the Basics | Organizing Dances
Dance People | Bob McQuillen | Dance History
Composing Dances & Choreography | Calling and Surviving the Evening
Caller Workshop Notes | Calling - Other Topics
Learning and Playing the Music | Composing the Music
Musical Experiences | Music Reviews | A Mix of Musical Matters
Tales of the Dance | The Dance Experience
Close Relatives (Irish Set, English, Scottish, Squares, Ceili, etc.) | Miscellany
Humor

With the number of essays approaching the 300 mark, I thought it best to establish a new page and make an attempt to put them in categories.

Collections of essays

Contra Dance, Beyond the Basics

Organizing Dances

Dance People

Bob McQuillen

Contra dance musician and tune composer Bob McQuillen passed away on Tuesday, February 4, 2014. There is a Facebook group, Remembering Mac for those who wish to contribute or read stories about him.

On Saturday, May 3, 2014 there was a variety of events honoring Mac. The "service" will be at ConVal High School in Peterborough, NH at 2pm, followed by a reception at the Monadnock Country Club on High St in Peterborough from 4pm-8pm, followed by the Contra Dance at the Peterborough Town Hall at 7pm dedicated to Mac. At the reception and dance there were lots of opportunities for playing and dancing and sharing of stories.

On Saturday, August 1, the Bob McQuillen Festival of Music and Dance was held to raise money for a scholarship fund in honor of “Mr. Mac,” as he was known by his students at ConVal.

Other stories of note:

Videos:

Dance History

Composing Dances & Choreography

  • Canadian caller Martha Edwards writes her work on proofing a particular dance in More on the Double Grand Square. New entry (February 24, 2017)
  • Contra Dance Choreography: A Reflection of Social Change is a 1995 book by Mary McNab Dart and is an exploration of the way the choreography of the contra dance, a folk dance tradition brought to us from the British Isles, has been changing, particularly over the last twenty years [1975-1995]. New entry (November 22, 2017)
  • There was a discussion in 2014 on the "Stuff Contra Dancers Say..." Facebook group about websites or free software programs that help dance choreographers see how a dance develops and unfolds (question asked by Greg Rhode). New entry (November 22, 2017)
  • Jeff Kaufman asks Can You Copyright a Contra Dance?. New entry (December 30, 2017)
  • A section of http://www.cdss.org/elibrary/dart/dance_composition_2.htm

    Calling and Surviving the Evening

    Caller Workshop Notes

    Calling - Other Topics

    Learning and Playing the Music

    Composing the Music

    Musical Experiences

    Music Reviews

    A Mix of Musical Matters

    Tales of the Dance

  • A Pomona/Claremont College student writes about Contradance: Outside the Claremont Bubble on going to dances outside of the college campus. New entry (February 24, 2017)
  • Caller Stephanie Marie has a story called She Found about what a young woman found when she ventured outside of her closet. New entry (February 24, 2017)
  • A first-time dancer at the Fiddle and Bow dance series sends a note about how well people treated her at the dance. New entry (February 25, 2017)
  • Seth Tepfer posted in 2015 about his work in choreographing the contra dances that appeared in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2. New entry (March 30, 2017)
  • Lorrie Wilkes writes that Contra Dancing Has Come to Armenia in this 2015 blog entry. New entry (August 5, 2017)
  • Rochester, New York caller and music Chuck Abell describes his time at the American Music and Dance Week at Pinewoods in 2014. New entry (August 12, 2017)
  • Susan Cerulean writes about shore birds and contra dancers after a visit to the Florida Snow Ball in 2015 in Yearning to Join the Dance. New entry (October 12, 2017)
  • Sarah Gowan wrote this preface to the Tuneadelphia tune book concerning the music and dancing at the Glenside dance series back in 2008. New entry (October 15, 2017)
  • Thomas S. Hodgson produced this photo essay of an evening of dancing in Woods Hole, Massachusetts in the summer of 2014. New entry (October 27, 2017)
  • Techno, Gender-free, and Bluesy Contras: Evolving Tradition? by Abigail Hobart is a 2014 blog entry about how various dance influences are changing the traditions of contra dance. New entry (November 8, 2017)
  • Zoë Madonna writes about the 2014 Ralph Page Legacy Weekend in Handing on the Tradition. New entry (November 22, 2017)
  • Contra Dancing Weekend aka Gypsy Meltdown (2014) is described by Lindsey Craven. New entry (November 22, 2017)
  • Peter Siegel writes about how the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown and the Dance Musicians Week in particular brings back the feeling of community and trying something new in his essay The Way It Is Is the Reason I Started Doing This Stuff in the First Place. New entry (December 27, 2017)
  • There was an attempt to form The World's Longest Contra Dance Line on June 7, 2014. New entry (January 6, 2018)
  • While traveling for several years, Rick and Lenore annotated and photographed their adventures, including visits to a number of contra dances in Dancing 'Cross the Country. New entry (February 19, 2018) Dance Local! includes Dragan Gill's five reasons to participate in dances in your area and why doing so contributes to the overall dance community. New entry (March 24, 2018)
  • Back in 2011, when techno contra dances were just starting out, the Contra Syncretist wrote about Terra Price introducing the genre in Spokane, Washington in Genre Mixing Deca-dance & the Health of the Arts: Terra Price. New entry (March 24, 2018)
  • Alan Lomax interviewed Hobart Smith in 1946 about his experiences escaping from a square dance. New entry (March 24, 2018)
  • Glen Loper wrote (with photographs from Lottie Hedley) about setting up for a techno contra in Belfast, Maine. New entry (April 4, 2018)
  • Marcie McGuire wrote Contra dancing – a swirl of awesomeness in 2011 as part of her Reality Bites blog about life in the Midwest. New entry (April 4, 2018)
  • Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote about some of the differences between attending and dancing at NEFFA and the LCFD Camp in Glorious Contra Dance. Glorious. in 2010. New entry (April 8, 2018)
  • Beula writes about dancing in North Carolina at her first contra dance. New entry (April 10, 2018)
  • Rich Mohr describes his experience calling dances to the music of the Beatles. New entry (April 10, 2018)
  • Finding My Way Out of The Woods is Bev Bernbaum's essay about teaching dance at The Woods Music and Dance Camp up in Muskoka, Ontario in 2009. New entry (April 10, 2018)

    The Dance Experience

    Close Relatives (Irish Set, English, Scottish, Squares, Ceili, etc.)

    Miscellany

    Humor


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    Last updated on June 9, 2018