English & American Dance & Music Week at Pinewoods

August 8 - 15, 2009

This week is over -- see you next year!

Tentative Schedule

English & American Dance Week at Pinewoods
Tentative Schedule
7:45 - 8:15 Breakfast
9:00 - 10:00
Advanced English Country Dancing Susan Kevra and Erik Weberg
English Country Dance, from Argeers to Zephyrs Erik Weberg and Susan Kevra
Rapper Sword Rick Mohr
Harmony Singing Naomi Morse
10:15 - 11:15
Contras on the Menu Erik Weberg
Morris Jigs Carol Ormand
The Art of the Ensemble Peter Barnes
11:25 - 11:55 Camp Gathering with Owen Morrison
11:5 - 12:30 Swimming, Bookstore Staffed
12:30 Lunch
1:45 - 2:45
Appalachian Clogging
Ellie Grace
Slow Jam
Rick Mohr
English Country Dance for Everyone Erik Weberg
3:00 - 4:00
Morris for All Rick Mohr
Madrigals Eden MacAdam Somer
Roots and Shoots: English and American Cross-Pollination Susan Kevra
4:00 - 4:20 Tea
4:30 - 5:30
Irish Sets Owen Morrison
Cape Breton Step Dance Ellie Grace
he Joys and Delights of Music Theory
Anna Patton
5:30 - 6:15 Swimming, Bookstore Staffed
6:30 Dinner
4:00 - 4:20 Tea
7:45 Couple Dancing
8:00 Evening Dance Party
11:00 Optional after-dance activities

Program Description

Look at Adult Programs for general information; here are details about this particular program and staff.

Imagine, for a moment, that the Atlantic Ocean had never formed: the British Isles would still be adjacent to North America, and we could enjoy the music and dance traditions of both regions at once. For one glorious week this summer it will be so! English & American Dance Week at Pinewoods brings together many strands of music and dance, weaving them into a gorgeous tapestry for your enjoyment.

From English country dances to contras and squares, from Irish sets to Cape Breton step dance, from rapper sword to vocal harmonies, from sunrise to nearly sunrise, expect the unexpected. Come prepared to hone your skills and expand your dancing and musical horizons. We welcome newcomers, old hands and everyone in between to our favorite activities (including chocolate tasting, wellie tossing and late-night shenanigans). Join us for an unforgettable week of music, dance, friendship and joy.

 

 

Versatility in Spades

Our staff leads the way in expanding horizons… They dance! They call! They teach! They play! They sing! And they're fun to hang around with, too!

Susan and Erik will delight you with their fabulous English and American dances, and may be persuaded to bring out a few instruments, as well. Rick and Carol will lead morris and sword dance classes, and will also favor us with their phenomenal contras and squares in the evenings. When Owen isn't playing for dances, he'll be leading us through Irish sets. And Ellie's step dance classes will take you places you've never been!

Peter, Dave, Owen, Naomi, Kendall, Anna, Chloe, Susie, Larry and Eden will conjure glorious melodies, rich harmonies and lively improvisations to send us into dance ecstasy. They play in more well known bands than we have room to list, from the Latter Day Lizards, Bare Necessities and Nightwatch to Childsplay, the Figments and Notorious. And did I mention that our staff is versatile? They'll dazzle you with the music of England, New England, Ireland and the southern Appalachians. If you're lucky, you'll also catch snippets of Cape Breton, Scottish, Balkan, Danish, Brazilian, Roma, blues, swing, jazz and classical music. Fiddles and piano? Absolutely. Guitar, banjo, mandolin, voice, flute and clarinet? Yes, those too. Oboe, melodeon, harmonica, bombarde and bodhran? You bet! In addition to dancing to them, you'll have opportunities throughout the day to join our staff in making music, both instrumental and vocal.

Come Join Us

The staff is just the foundation of this camp; you're the ones who make it happen! The only prerequisite is a willingness to join in the fun. The bottom line: catch up on your sleep before you come to camp! And if you can get your hands on a time-turner….

-- Carol Ormand, Program Director

Staff

Renaissance man Peter Barnes has been playing more instruments, in more genres, in more interesting locations, for longer than most of us can remember. Averaging over 250 gigs per year, he currently plays in the Latter Day Lizards, Bare Necessities, Big Bandemonium, Dark Carnival, Yankee Ingenuity and on the radio program Says You!. Peter also keeps himself busy with teaching, recording, publishing music books, composing and crafting wooden whistles. Personal Webpage

Ellie Grace is a percussive dancer, multi-instrumentalist and singer who performs and teaches as a solo artist, as part of a renowned duo with her sister (Leela) and with several highly respected bands and dance companies. Ellie is a powerhouse on the dance floor and, though still young, a remarkable and patient teacher (having taught for years at universities, camps and schools across the country). Ellie has enough energy and warmth to light up a room and she is not afraid to use it in abundance to get you dancing, singing and laughing! Personal Webpage

Susan Kevra began calling in New England in the early '90s and quickly became known for her warmth, clear teaching and diverse repertoire of singing squares, Western patter calls, contras and English country dances. In 2000-2001, Susan lived in France where she toured throughout Western Europe calling dances, many en français, introducing eager French dancers to American dance and song. Susan teaches French and American Studies at Vanderbilt University, where she has developed a new course, American Social History through Dance. Personal Webpage

Dave Langford is a versatile fiddler, guitarist and fiddle teacher from the Boston area. A veteran of over 25 years of playing for all manner of dance events, Dave combines multiple styles of fiddling with fierce energy and drive. Dave is featured on recordings of Childsplay and plays in several musical configurations including the Latter Day Lizards with Bill Tomczak and Peter Barnes and Big Bandemonium. Personal Webpage

Susie Lorand began studying the recorder and violin at age 7. She first encountered contra, English, and morris dancing at Earlham College in the 1980s. Since then, her music has delighted dancers all over the Northeast and Midwest. A longtime member of Rum & Onions, she co-directed the band in 2005-2006. She moonlights as an editor and librarian.

Eden MacAdam-Somer, a young and versatile fiddler with strong roots in classical music, has jumped with both feet into the folk music and contra dance scene, touring the country with Larry Unger in the band Notorious, playing in a style that is truly her own. Personal Webpage

Chloe Maher, a Pinewoods camper since childhood, has enjoyed English country, contra, clogging and rapper for many years. She plays piano with the Contraptions and several other bands for English and contra dances. Chloe dances with Fiddlekicks Cloggers and sings gleefully whenever an opportunity arises. She is working on a master's degree in Community and Regional Planning at Temple University. Personal Webpage

Rick Mohr has been dancing, teaching and choreographing for over 20 years in both the contra and morris dance worlds. Known for clear and well-paced teaching, good humor and fresh tradition-based choreography, Rick keeps an active schedule calling contra dances and is the founder of Boston's Commonwealth Morris Men. He is also a singer, fiddler and button accordion player. Personal Webpage

Owen Morrison is a highly versatile guitarist from Charlottesville, VA. Since graduating from Guilford College in 2006 with a degree in classical guitar, he has made his living playing for dance events, concerts and festivals around the country. Owen has become known for his driving rhythm guitar, blistering flatpicking and insightful accompaniment. He has been a dancer his entire life and enjoys sharing his enthusiasm for Irish set dances with dancers of all levels. Personal Webpage

Naomi Morse grew up surrounded by music and dance in the folk communities of New England. She is known for her energetic and driving fiddle playing for both contra and English dancing in many bands, including Night Watch, Housetop and the mega-fiddle-band Childsplay. She has toured extensively with the world music ensemble, Northern Harmony, and lives in Brooklyn, NY, where she sings professionally. Personal Webpage

Madison, Wisconsin caller Carol Ormand is beloved throughout the contra community for her smooth and unflappable style, wickedly fun dances and penchant for keeping all the dancers on the floor smiling. Her delightful dance selections and concise, relaxed teaching style will keep you coming back for more. Not surprisingly, she brings the same skill and energy to morris dancing. Personal Webpage

Anna Patton plays clarinet with verve, clarity and harmonic whim. Besides English and American dance music her repertoire includes Balkan dance tunes, Brazilian choros and early jazz. Based in Brattleboro, VT, Anna has spent much of her young life on tour around the U.S. and abroad, singing and playing for dancers, concert-goers and pedestrians. She also enjoys teaching music to kids and adults and writing arrangements. Personal Webpage

A Kentucky native, an Oklahoma alumnus, and a reluctant Texas resident,Kendall Rogers is a very confused piano/bodhran player who dabbles in the dark arts of accordion and whistle; is steeped in the rich folk dance traditions of Kentucky and the traditional dance music of Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, England and the Americas; and is marred by the influences of classical piano lessons, marching band and jazz. You can find him playing with Government Contra Act, (his DC-based contra band), Evil Genius (his Houston contra band), the Hugh Morrison Ceilidh Band (a Houston-based Scottish country & ceilidh dance band), the Houston English country dance scene or the local Irish sessions. Personal Webpage

Larry Unger, prolific tunesmith and full time musician for over 20 years, probably logs more road miles each year than any other contra dance musician, playing guitar, banjo, piano and bass with numerous bands. Larry's broad musical interests include old-time, blues and swing AND he's a great teacher too. Personal Webpage

Erik Weberg is a wildly popular English and American dance leader based in the Pacific Northwest. He believes that flow, interesting figures and connection with the music are what make dancing sublime, whether it's smooth like butter or driving like a freight train. In recent years Erik has also become involved with the musical end of the dance world, playing flute, harmonica, bombarde and Scottish small pipes. He is part of the Portland contra dance band Joyride, which has toured internationally (yep, they've played in Vancouver, B.C.) as well as in the U.S. Personal Webpage.

Class Descriptions

Social Dance

Advanced English Country Dancing -- Susan Kevra and Erik Weberg
This session is offered to those who are very familiar with English country dancing and will include more challenging dances as well as beloved repertoire with swift walk throughs. Familiarity with standard English figures will be assumed in order to maximize time dancing with the gorgeous music.

English Country Dance, from Argeers to Zephyrs -- Erik Weberg and Susan Kevra
All are invited to take part in dancing English country dances from the early days to contemporary compositions, from graceful elegance to playful exuberance. Susan and Erik's gentle guidance will ensure that everyone has a great time.

English Country Dance for Everyone -- Erik Weberg
This session will build on your existing dance experience and explore the grace and style of English country dance. You'll find everything you need to fully enjoy the dances, the music and your fellow dancers. All are welcome and encouraged.

Contras on the Menu -- Erik Weberg
Erik will cook up some of his favorite contra dances in a session guaranteed to satisfy. A great stock of interesting dances, a few style points for substance, and a playful seasoning of your dancing and musical friends will give you plenty to chew on.

Roots and Shoots: English and American Cross-Pollination -- Susan Kevra
Many popular figures that have cropped up in contemporary contra dance choreography have their roots in much older dances -- not just contra dance chestnuts like Rory O' More and Petronella, but also English country dances. Similarly, contemporary English dances have taken some of their inspiration from American dance, even modern Western squares. In this class, we'll look at instances of choreographic cross pollination, focusing on contemporary American contras and squares, but with occasional forays into English and early American dances. Each day will focus on a particular theme, such as contra corners and its variants, or contra dances with recognizable quotations from English country dances like Mad Robin or Dublin Bay.

Irish Sets -- Owen Morrison
Hailing from the southwest of Ireland, Kerry sets are cousins of American square dances. They are danced in four couple sets to lively polkas, slides and hornpipes. This year's class will include some old favorites as well as some sets that are new to Pinewoods dancers. All experience levels are encouraged to come.

Display Dance

Appalachian Clogging -- Ellie Grace
All of that wishing has finally paid off -- you can now fulfill your dream of learning Appalachian clogging! With clear, step-by-step instruction and lots of good humor and encouragement from your teacher, you will be kicking up your heels and making music with your feet in no time at all. Wear hard-soled shoes if you have them.

Cape Breton Step Dance -- Ellie Grace
Come explore the driving rhythms and beautiful style of this percussive dance from Cape Breton Island in Canada. This class will be fast-paced, geared toward stepdancers with some experience, but motivated novices are welcome to give it a try. All of the steps will be clearly broken down and you might amaze yourself with the exciting footwork you have mastered by the end of the week! Wear hard-soled shoes if you have them.

Rapper Sword -- Rick Mohr
Rick will lead a rapper class open to all, presenting an exciting dance with opportunities to learn and improve on the full range of rapper skills -- stepping, figures, drive, teamwork, flips and presentation. Wear hard-soled shoes.

Morris for All -- Rick Mohr
Learn the jaunty, accessible and exhilarating dances from the village of Bampton. Special invitation to younger dancers new to morris. Wear athletic shoes and plan on a week of fine morris fun.

Morris Jigs -- Carol Ormand
Learn an assortment of Carol's favorite jigs to dazzle your friends and bemuse your acquaintances. We'll be dancing a different tradition -- with different footwork and styling -- each day of the week, so prior morris dancing experience will be extremely helpful. We're likely to explore some double and triple jig choreography and may, if interest is sufficient, compose our own jig.

Music

Harmony Singing -- Naomi Morse
Come explore harmony singing traditions from around the world. We will sing raucous and lyrical songs from the shape note tradition, the Caucasus Republic of Georgia and the Balkans, to name a few. All parts will be taught by ear, although sheet music will be provided for most songs.

Madrigals -- Eden MacAdam Somer
Come experience Eden's infectious love of singing early music. Here's your chance to sing music you may not normally get to sing, to enjoy blending your voices in rich harmonies and to just have a great time singing together. Come even if you don't read music -- Eden will teach all of the parts.

The Joys and Delights of Music Theory -- Anna Patton
A class for singers and instrumentalists who want to get a better feel for what chords and chord progressions are all about. Working with well known songs and dance tunes, we'll make up bass lines, harmonize and improvise. A safe and fun place to ask questions and conduct harmonic experiments.

The Art of the Ensemble -- Peter Barnes
This band workshop will be a hands-on investigation of the many tools available to spice up, tighten, vary, arrange, improvise, harmonize and generally have fun with traditional dance music in a group setting. All levels of players are welcome. We’re likely to focus on beginnings and endings, tune changes, dynamics, phrasing and harmony.

Slow Jam -- Rick Mohr
We'll play them slowly, and play them until the tune sinks into your subconscious. In a slow jam, there's enough time to experiment, find your distinct voice, and explore the deep groove of great tunes, old and new.

Gathering -- Owen Morrison
Join Owen, your MC, in a daily extravaganza of camper and staff talent, singing, stories and high jinks. A great way to wind down before lunch and hang out with the whole camp!