I am wondering if you have any dances for low numbers of dancers (perhaps 6
or less), when most or all of the dancers are beginners and adults. I am
also wondering if you have any dances (presumably different dances), that do
not require choosing a partner and are good openers for beginner adults.
Thanks as always to all,
I can only speak with reference to calling at NEFFA, as I have never applied to DownEast. As some of you may know that Linda Leslie is NEFFA's program chair, I will note that the program chair does not select performers for contra sessions.
Regarding NEFFA 2007, the following notice is now posted at http://neffa.org/perf_app.html - The Program Committee is not prepared to take your application at this time, since it is too late to apply for this year's NEFFA Festival. Please note that the application to perform is always available during the month of September, with a deadline in October. If you'd like to get an e-mail notice of application availability, send a blank e-mail to NEFFA_Performers-subscribe(a)yahoogroups.com
So you can note on your calendar that September is a good time to check the NEFFA web site, and also arrange for a notice to pop up in your e-mail.
The NEFFA application invites you to come up with a briefly-described theme for your session, with a title of 20 characters or less. IMO, use your own judgment as to how important the theme is. If you are offering a concept that's really meaningful to you, don't be afraid to describe it. If what you really want to do is just call some hot contras, then IMO I wouldn't go overboard on the theme.
Unlike Northwest Folklife, callers and bands apply SEPARATELY to the New England Folk Festival. And I believe that this is a very good thing for beginning callers who hope to have a chance at getting onstage. This mix-and-match policy gives a fresh perspective for experienced performers, and can be an eye-opening experience for newcomers who may get to work with seasoned veterans. I will never forget calling at NEFFA with Northern Spy, a band that has worked with caller David Millstone for 25 years. And where was David during this session? Out on the floor, happily dancing to the music of his own band. NEFFA's selection process made that wonderful hour possible for me.
For what it's worth, the first year I successfully applied I asked for a "Festival Orchestra" slot, which means that instead of calling a themed, hour-long session I called two dances in the Main Hall with the assembled orchestra and then got off the stage as the next Festival Orchestra caller had a turn. IMO, the key here (as well as in submitting a session proposal) is to choose dances that you know by heart, can teach well, fully believe in, and love to share with a crowd. You don't want to have second thoughts as you approach the microphone.
If you're wondering why performer applications are required so far in advance of a festival, note that NEFFA may have 1700 performers, many of whom perform in multiple sessions (perhaps performing alone, and with a participatory dance group, and also with a concert performance group!). You can't doublebook a performer (or larger groups to which she may belong), you have to give her time to move from one venue to another, plus a bunch of other scheduling etceteras that would drive me loony to contemplate further. How scheduling was done in the days before computers is beyond me.
Robert Jon Golder
164 Maxfield St
New Bedford, MA 02740
I recently had the following exchange on a different list with Michael
Shapiro (guitarist with U4):
>>> U4 just played the SwingShift weekend in Lexington/Berea. The caller was
Barbara Groh. She did something that I think most callers should do, but I
haven't seen before. After the sets were formed and people had done the hand
four, she then broke up the beginners sets that had formed at the end of the
lines. She asked then to move forward and intersperse themselves with the
more advanced dancers (so that they were more toward the beggining of the
line and the foursomes were not all beginners).
She was also good at letting the music be heard ...
>> Regarding the caller asking sets to reform in order to spread the less
experienced dancers throughout the hall, much tact is required. Generally,
callers strive to avoid calling attention to particular dancers other than
when asking people to watch a demonstration, but asking people to change
sets can have the effect of making them feel like there is attention on
them. In addition, newish dancers want to dance with people they know, even
if those friends may also be newish dancers.
>> Speaking to the entire crowd, I do encourage experienced dancers to share
their experience by asking someone they've never met to dance at least once
in the evening, and praise the community for being so welcoming to newcomer
dancers. So while I might be thinking "let's break up this clump of
confusion," it would not be good to say something that draws attention to
"you people right here."
>> I have asked, off mic, for a set of experienced dancers to offer to
repartner with a set of inexperienced dancers down the line.
To this list, I ask:
I'd be interested in the wording that Barbara Groh used (which I'm assuming
was quite gentle). I'm also guessing other callers on this list have
developed tactful ways to address this issue.
I've been trying unsuccessfully to locate a website where someone had posted Celtic knot-type patterns that represent various dance moves (left hand star into butterfly whirl, hey for four, etc). I lost the link in a hard drive update. Does anyone have a link to it? Thanks.
It is such fun to be on the list, and every now and again see a post
such as yours!
I am happy to send the dance to you.....which is based on Al Olson's
Devil's Duty. How did you hear about it? Hope you have fun calling/
by Linda Leslie orig. Al Olson
Four Face Four/Improper
A1 Lines of four Forward and Back
Opposite allemande right once and three-quarters
Pull by this opposite to start:
A2 Half hey for eight!
B1 Same Opposite Balance and Swing (face across)
B2 Ring Balance*
Circle left one-half
* If preferred, you can leave out the ring balance, for a longer
partner swing. However, I rather like the Balance.
> I am looking for a dance, "Devil's Dervish" by Linda Leslie. Can
> help me out? Thanks!
> Deb Comly
> Callers mailing list
> End of Callers Digest, Vol 63, Issue 10
The internet, that's the thing with e-mail, right?
> I've been using the Zoom H4 for some time for recording
> dances as well as a
> number of other situations, and am extremely pleased with
> it. The H4 costs
> more than the H2, but the H4 has the advantage of having
> two input jacks
> that accept both XLR and 1/4" phone plug connections. I
> regularly use this
> ability to record from the "Tape/CD Out" jacks on the sound
> board. When
> that's not possible the Zoom devices (either one) do a
> fabulous job with
> their external mikes.
This might be a stupid question, but can you both use input jacks and the built in mike?
I'm looking to say goodbye to the 1970s and replace my analog tape recorder with a portable digital one. (My 4-year-old can inherit the old unit and play around with it to his heart's delight.) The digital recorder will be used for recording at dances as well as recording interviews in my professional life.
I've seen some callers and musicians using small digital recorders, but I know little about the specific units. I'd appreciate advice on recommended digital recorders and external microphone attachments, from those of you who have gone down this path long before me. Thanks in advance!
Jeremy Korr, southern California
Bing brings you maps, menus, and reviews organized in one place.
A good musician friend really likes this item:
Zoom H2 Handy Portable Stereo Recorder
Available at Amazon for $143 and at lots of other shopping sites, garners
generaly very positive reviews.
I've read bits and pieces here and there from dance sites, and searched the archives (with too many off the path references).
Can anyone either offer an attainable resource or send something I can work with?
The audience, well, always me, myself and I, but in this specific case, a group of young people, grade school level and younger?, and their families.