English & American Dance Week at Pinewoods
August 10 - 17, 2013
Is there still room?
For up-to-date info about availability and wait lists,
see our main Dance & Music Camps page.
Description of Classes: a 2 page description of the classes
Daily Schedule: a 1 page daily timetable
For accepted campers: Links to a few important pages and surveys.
Pinewoods Camp is the perfect setting for a celebration of English & American dance traditions. The four open-air pavilions are ideally suited for the contra, English country, morris, sword, and percussive dances that fill our days at camp. The incomparable Pinewoods kitchen crew takes care of feeding our bodies so we can focus on feeding our souls with the fantastic music that floats through the woods, and the joy and camaraderie we find on the dance floor. And, flanking both sides of the unique property, are two beautifully swimmable ponds that beckon to us after some of the more strenuous dance classes, and after dancing for hours each evening.
English & American Week is built on a foundation of great contra and English country dancing. This year’s program features three of the best callers anywhere--George Marshall calling contras, Gene Murrow leading English, and Scott Higgs calling English and American dances. There are two hour-long opportunities to dance contras with George Marshall in the daily schedule. There are also three English Country dance classes in the program, allowing campers to begin their morning with an hour of English country and end their afternoon the same way. Every evening features a nearly three-hour dance party that alternates between English and American dancing. Best of all is the knowledge that you will be surrounded all week by people who love to dance contras and English country as much as you do!
The music staff will amaze, inspire and, most importantly, get your feet moving! Jonathan Jensen, lydia ievins and Anna Patton are some of the most sought-after English country dance musicians, among their myriad other talents. Richard Forest is one of Quebec’s greatest fiddlers and a composer of many classic fiddle tunes. The staff also includes the popular contra dance band Night Watch, comprised of Naomi Morse, Elvie Miller and Owen Morrison. They will be playing for one of the daily contra classes as well as in the evenings.
This year’s program puts a strong emphasis on English display dancing. The staff includes four native Brits, three of whom will be enjoying their first time at Pinewoods. Tom Besford will have a busy afternoon, teaching his exciting brand of Northwest morris, longsword, and rapper sword dancing. Ian Robb brings us a living tradition from the family of Cotswold morris. Also included will be a course in English clog, expertly taught by Stephanie Besford. Several of these classes will be accompanied by Alex Cumming, a talented young morris and ceilidh musician from the Southwest of England.
Those who enjoyed last year’s percussive dance theme will not be disappointed in 2013. Yaëlle Azoulay is back by popular demand to teach two levels of Quebecois Step Dance, as well as a class in body percussion. Stephanie Besford’s English Clog course will round out the program for those who like to make music with their feet.
Speaking of making music, that is highly encouraged! Internationally renowned singer Ian Robb will offer two different classes for singers. A dance band course will be led by Elvie Miller, a life-long dance musician and award winning piano and accordion player. Beyond the fixed daily program there will be plenty of opportunities for musicians to jam.
In the late-night hours following the evening dance, we’ll have several themed music and dance parties. One night will be an English ceilidh, another a French Canadian soiree. There will be a pub night and evening of Irish music and Irish set dances. Campers and staff alike will be invited to join in all of these activities however they see fit--bring your instruments, your singing voices and your dancing shoes.
Of course, English and American Week would not be complete without an enthusiastic bunch of dancers to bring the program to life. I can’t wait to see you all at camp!
Owen Morrison, Program Director
Printable Information for Accepted Campers
Acceptance Information: Details for getting to and being at camp
If you have not already, please do sign the Waiver.
To pay any camp Balance Due
|7:45-8:15||Hot Breakfast served cafeteria style|
|8:15-8:45||Cold Breakfast Coffee/Tea available|
ECD (Adv) Form, Function, Affect and Fun: Gene Murrow
Music by: Jeremiah McLane, Anna Patton
The varied configurations, subtle social interaction, mood and enjoyment of the English country dance continue to amaze, from the 17th century to the present. We’ll dance outstanding examples from the repertoire for fun and deepened appreciation. For advanced dancers who know all or most of the ECD figures.
ECD (For All): Scott Higgs
Music by: Jonathan Jensen, lydia ievins
Start your day with a sparkling assortment of favorites, old and new. You don't need to strain your brain to enjoy beautiful dancing. Selected dances will be accessible to all, yet feature special delights for experienced dancers to savor. We'll all be treated to fabulous music, courtesy of Jonathan and lydia.
Quebecois Step-Dancing (Adv): Yaëlle Azoulay
Music by: Richard Forest
This class is intended for dancers who have been stepdancing for at least 2 years and can pick up steps fairly quickly. Stepdancing shoes (with metal or fiberglass) are highly recommended. This year, we will learn steps in a 3 beat count that are very specific to Quebecois Step-Dancing. We will also learn hard steps that can be performed to any good reel! Yaëlle will dig into the traditional repertoire as well as her own; we might even try out some steps to crooked tunes. All classes will start with a warm up that Yaëlle has specifically designed to develop very agile feet. When time allows, we will have fun improvising!
Cotswold Morris: Ian Robb
Music by: Alex Cumming
Ian has danced with Thames Valley International for almost 30 years, and will teach the essential elements of that team's graceful and flowing style. The Thames style and most of its dances were invented in London, Ontario by TVI founder and long time musician Paul Handford, and are based loosely on the Fieldtown morris tradition. The class will learn hankie and stick dances from the TVI repertoire, with emphasis on the elements that make this style distinctive.
Contras: George Marshall
Music by: Richard Forest, Owen Morrison, Anna Patton
One of the things we love about dance is the ability to connect--to each other, to the music, to our surroundings or to a tradition. This contra class will explore connection through dance.
English Clog: Stephanie Besford
Music by: Alex Cumming
Clog or step dancing in the north of England is most commonly performed in one of two styles. The Northumberland and Durham style remains a strong part of North Eastern culture, whilst the style from Lancashire is said to emulate the sound of the cotton mills, with the steps most commonly performed having been written by either Pat Tracey or Sam Sherry. Steph’s own variety of clog is most closely aligned with the Lancashire style, in particular the dances of Sam Sherry, but having spent many years living in the North East, she has also been influenced by the those traditions. In these classes Steph will largely be teaching the Lancashire steps of Sam Sherry and others, but will also look at how rhythms can be developed and styles merged to create a more modern form of dance.
Dance Band: Jeremiah McLane
We'll explore a variety of dance tunes and styles and discover what makes dancers want to move. In between playing, we'll develop creative and exciting arrangements. Learning by ear will be encouraged, but sheet music will be provided.
|11:25-11:55||Gathering with Owen Morrison|
|11:55-12:30||Swimming, Bookstore staffed|
Couple Dance Playshop: Scott Higgs
Music by: Jonathan Jensen, Naomi Morse
A potpourri of joyful, accessible couple dances. The playshop format focuses on learning by doing -- we'll maximize the music and dancing, and minimize detailed teaching. Each day, you'll get a taste of several different styles, ranging from the elegant to the delightfully dizzying. Come ready to try something new and fun.
Body Percussion: Yaëlle Azoulay
A new class this year, very exciting! Everybody is welcome to this class. All you will need: ears, and various other body parts. This class will be an exploration of sounds produced by the body. In a way of a choir, we will develop polyrhythms and use melody and rhythm combined. This class will be inspired by Yaëlle's research in body percussion in The United States, Quebec, Brazil, Eastern Europe, and South Africa.
North West Morris: Tom Besford
Music by: Alex Cumming
This traditional form of dance evolved in the cotton mills of Lancashire in the late 18th Century as a processional display to celebrate the traditions of each town and village. Men, women and children of all ages performed these dances on special occasions such as the Rushcart bearing and Rose Queen celebrations throughout Lancashire and the industrial heartland of North West England. In these workshops, Tom will be teaching some of the collected traditions from his home town of Horwich, specifically those revived by the Horwich Prize Medal Morris Men.
Singing: Ian Robb
This session will be an opportunity to swap songs, sing some good choruses and talk in depth about singing and songs. Participants are encouraged to "bring and sing", and Ian will lead and steer informal discussion through such topics as repertoire sources, regional styles, informal social singing and etiquette, unaccompanied vs accompanied singing, story songs, chorus songs, learning words, finding a key, phrasing, making someone else's song your own, and whatever else arises. There will be no fixed agenda, and drop-ins are welcome.
Contras: George Marshall
Music by: Naomi Morse, Jeremiah McLane and Owen Morrison
Join George Marshall in the afternoon for a wide-ranging selection of contras. We'll dance traditional "chestnuts," brand new compositions and everything in between. The class will be treated every day to music by the trio Night Watch.
Longsword: Tom Besford
Music by: Gene Murrow
Possibly the oldest form of directly traceable traditional dance in existence, hilt and point sword dancing is found throughout Europe. Most of our detailed records of the dance come from Yorkshire through the work of Cecil Sharp and his contemporaries. Tom will teach some of the rural longsword dances which Sharp first published in The Sword Dances of Northern England Volume 1, published in 1911. As these dances are rural traditions which were largely performed only once or twice a year, they were deliberately simple to learn but difficult to master and are often described as ‘dances for dancers.’
Quebecois Step-Dancing (Beg): Yaëlle Azoulay
Music by: Richard Forest
This class reaches out to those of you who have always dreamed to do feet percussion but never knew how or when to start! A somewhat good notion of rhythm and your favourite pair of shoes (hard sole and not too high heel) are required. In this class, we will learn all the basics of Quebecois Step-Dancing. During warm-up, we will examine the way our feet move and exercise our ankles, knees and feet to be ready for Step-Dancing. In a very musical approach, we will learn various sequences that you can bring home to work on.
ECD: Gene Murrow
Music by: Jonathan Jensen, lydia ievins, Anna Patton
The late afternoon hour is the perfect time to enjoy engaging dances, with compelling music, that don’t tax the brain. We’ll choose a variety of historical and newly-composed dances that are accessible to novices and fun for the experienced.
Rapper: Tom Besford
Music by: Naomi Morse
One of the more modern traditional dances, rapper sword dancing is a post-industrial incarnate of longsword created and developed exclusively in the North East of England. This is a fast paced, complex performance designed to impress and amaze an audience with the skill and agility of the dancers. Over the past few decades, rapper has spread throughout England, America and increasingly beyond, and in this growth much of the style of the dance has altered and changed. Tom will teach a lesser performed traditional dance and will offer tips, advice and demonstration on how the evolution of the dance has changed the way rapper is performed today since leaving the Tyneside coalfields in the mid-19th century.
Singing - Eat, Drink and Be Merry: Ian Robb
Ian will lead a week of songs about food and drink. An opportunity to sing some great choruses, learn some new songs, share some tips on harmony and if you're so inclined, bring some of your own favorite songs, food or drink for the class to taste.
|5:30-6:15||Swimming, Bookstore staffed|
|8:00-11:00||Evening Dance Party|