May Heydays at Evesham:
Two of our callers have sent back lists of possible workshops. Carol Ormand has sent me a list with 9 possible workshops. She will be running 6. Joanna Reiner has sent me a list with 10 possible workshops. She will be running 5. So, for those of you who feel strongly about it, please email
with your favourite five or six in order of preference. We will make our selection according to your voting, taking into account any feedback by booked festival goers received by the end of January.
Carol's Workshop Offerings
- Contra Connections
- Carol's Controlled Contra Chaos
- Gender Benders
- Cool Contra Choreography
- The Great Contra Dance Melting Pot
- Western Squares of the Golden Era
- Squares Withou Borders
- Challenging Dances
- Hey Mania
Improving dancing skills while having funThese workshops help dancers develop skills such as dancing with the music, appropriate leading and following, connecting with the other dancers in the set (without danger of hurting them), and so on. I love leading them, and they get rave reviews (particularly the first two).
- Contra Connections: Enhance your dance experience by connecting with the music, the other dancers, and the history of contra dancing.
- Carol's Controlled Contra Chaos: This session will amuse you, stretch your dancing skills, and entertain the band, all within the context of contra dancing.
- Gender Benders: Dances without gender roles, or with reversed roles, or that feel as though roles are reversed, reminding dancers what it feels like for their partners.
Focusing on contra dancing/dances
- Cool Contra Choreography: Dances you'll love, with interesting figures and smooth transitions.
- The Great Contra Dance Melting Pot: Fun choreography stolen from other dance traditions.
Squares, with a tiny dose of square dance history
- Western Squares of the Golden Era: Square dancing took off in the US immediately following the end of World War II. During this Golden Era, it was so popular that square dance choreography experienced an explosion of creativity, particularly in the Rocky Mountain west. Dances of this era are exquisitely original and fun.
- Squares Without Borders: Revel in squares from the north, south, east, west, center, and abroad, possibly including some with unusual geography: five, six, seven, or eight couples, Kentucky running sets, and grid squares. Dare to be square! (I offer a few brief comments about regional stylistic differences with each dance, which dancers tell me they appreciate.
Challenging dance sessions
- Challenging Dances: Wickedly fun and challenging contras, squares, and more.
- Hey Mania: Heys in ways you might never have imagined.
Joanna's Workshop Offerings
- What's New?
- Staying Still
- The American ECD Landscape
- ECD for All — On the Edge
- Dovetail & Friends — the complexity of Gary Roodman's dances
- Fun with Phrasing
- No Walk-Through ECD
- Key to the Cellar
What's New?Some say the heyday of English Country Dance is right now. Never before have we experienced such a high volume of new dances from choreographers on both sides of the US, and both sides of the Atlantic. This workshop will explore the breadth of these modern gems, including dances by Jenna Simpson, Joseph Pimentel, and more.
Staying StillOften when we learn dances, we focus on when to move, where to go, how to get there. But as you develop as a dancer and start to refine your own technique and find your own style, learning how to dance goes beyond geography. This workshop will feature a variety of dances where the supporting couples' role, even if it involves not dancing, is as key as the active couples' pattern.
The American ECD LandscapeThis workshop will examine different themes in modern ECD as danced in the USA: our attraction to waltzes and other triple-time dances, borrowing of figures and music from other dance styles, reconstructions of older dances, and some of the latest compositions.
ECD for All — On the EdgeMany English dances borrow figures and ideas from the Scottish country dance repertoire, and going back in history, there was no distinction between English and Scottish dancing. The workshop will explore dances that are clearly English, but with a Scottish reference or flair.
Dovetail & Friends — the complexity of Gary Roodman's dancesGary Roodman has written a number of challenging, wonderful dances that are rarely seen on social dance programmes. This session for experienced dancers will cover both the geography and the nuances of some of these gems, including Dovetail, Playing (in) the Field, and others, as time permits.
Impropriety!Brooke Friendly and Chris Sackett from Ashland, Oregon, are two of our most prolific ECD choreographers. This workshop will feature favourites from their repertoire and some of their latest compositions.
Fun with PhrasingOne of the wonderful things about English country dancing is the opportunity to dance the same figures in different ways depending on the style and metre of the dance. This workshop will explore how our movement must be affected by the metre, style and tempo of the music, the number of people in the hall, and how our fellow dancers are moving.
No Walk-Through ECDThere is great joy in being able to dance with nothing coming between you, your partner, all of your fellow dancers and the music. Although the session is for all, the dances will be talked through only, with no explicit teaching, and no calling. Bring your sense of adventure for this mélange of new and familiar dances.
Key to the CellarJenny Beer and Scott Higgs have just released their long-awaited book of English country dances. Jenny and Scott's attention to details such as musical pairing, phrasing, and intuitive choreography make this a must-have addition to your dance book library. This workshop will feature some new and old favourites from the collection.
CoveringScottish dancers learn a technique called "covering," or dancing in parallel or synchrony with others. This workshop will introduce this technique in an English dance context. Learn how to maintain symmetry and the shape of the dance through phrasing and non-physical connections.