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
Linda Leslie's suggestion of gyre as a replacement for gypsy bubbled around
in my brain and a new (I think) dance percolated up. It has a twist that
isn't the gyre (which I consider just new nomenclature); women casting out
of the swing to travel from one minor set to another (similar to gent's
movement in Scoot by Tom Hinds).
I haven't gotten to test it with dancers yet, as I just finished running it
through with pegs on my desk; but I wanted to share it in support of a new
A Gyre for Linda
by Luke Donforth
(4) Pass through to an ocean wave (ladies left, catch right with partner)
(4) Balance the short Wavy line
(2) Walk forward
(3) Shadow gyre right 1/2
(3) Gents gyre left 1/2 in the middle
(16) Neighbor gyre right and swing
(8) Men allemande Left 1-1/2 WHILE women cast cw around whole set one
(8) 1/2 Hey, passing partner by right shoulder
(16) Partner gyre right and swing at home
As for the other aspects that have been discussed:
I pronounce it with a softer g sound. For reasons unclear to me, gyre has
different accepted pronunciations; but (to my knowledge) gyration doesn't.
As for using the term (which I clearly support); it costs me nearly nothing
to switch and helps make the dance more accessible for some; both in
dropping a term some find offensive and making the name more descriptive of
the move. My job as a caller is to help share the joy of dancing, and if
this does that I'm in favor of it.
I collected a dance from Lisa Greenleaf. Neither she nor the person
from whom she collected it knows the author. I'm hoping you can help
me. Here it is:
A1 Cir L 3/4, pass through
New neighbor swing
A2 Long lines F&B
B1 Left diag. hey for 4
B2 (original) Ladies L shoulder gypsy
Several years ago (2013?) while at the fabulous DEFFA festival in Maine, I
danced a contra that had a grand square. I think it was on the diagonal.
But that's about all I remember about it.
Anyone know the dance? Or can give me more of a lead like the caller or
I don't think it was a 4x4. I'm not sure if it had the full 16 beats one
way, then reverse and 16 beats the other way; because that'd be half the
Now that I'm thinking about it, as a 4x4 with a full grand square and still
following somewhat typical 4x4 conventions:
Lines of 4 go forward and back
Grand Square: Heads start forward, sides split
Reverse: sides start forward, heads split
- Option 1: Heads pass straight through, sides pass straight through;
- Option 2: Pass new corner right, next left; find partner
- Option 3: Gents left hand star promenade with corner, ladies go ~1/2,
turn back to partner
partner swing, face line of direction
I'm now really confident it wasn't a 4x4 contra, but I still don't remember
what it was. Any help would be appreciated.
If I can't find it I may try it as a 4x4, but it seems like you'd be
further ahead with a simple square to have a little more variety than just
grand square and two swings...
I know at least three of us will be there next weekend, any interest in a
group meal or something? Or just crash into each other on the dance
Hugs and backrubs -- I break Rule 6 http://rule6.info/
<*> <*> <*>
Help a hearing-impaired person: http://rule6.info/hearing.html
FWIW: June 24 is the feast day of St John the Baptist, patron saint of Quebec. So June 24 is Quebec's national holiday, bigger there than Canada Day a week later. (Camped last night in a state park in the Adirondacks, full of Québécois enjoying a long weekend....).
Sent from my iPhone
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I like these two at a glance; I'll take a closer look later. Thank you.
At the same time, I was asking for pulling by both ways, not just one way,
so more suggestions still welcome.
On Jun 20, 2016 4:50 PM, "Bob Isaacs" <isaacsbob(a)hotmail.com> wrote:
Ron and All:
I hope this isn't too weird for you. It adapted the diagonal Rory spins
first seen in Bill Olson's Eleanor's Reel into a single progression dance:
Let It Flow
Bob Isaacs, 7/26/04
A1. 8 L diagonal circle L ¾
2,2,4 N1 pull by R, N2 pull by L, N3 allemande R ¾ to wave/4
A2. 4,4 Balance R and L, spin R forward to wave/4 w/N2
4,4 Balance L and R, spin L forward
B1. 4,12 N1 balance, swing
B2. 4 Give and take to gent’s side
12 Partner swing
(1) – With gents taking L hands in the center and N3 keeping R hands on the
(2) – With ladies taking R hands in the center and N2 taking L hands on the
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2016 15:34:47 -0400
Subject: [Callers] Rorys + Grand R+L?
Any contra dances out there with a grand right and left around the set and
Rory OMoore spins? (Standard 32bar, nothing too weird)
I thought I've danced one that went something like:
A1. N1 Pull by R, N2 Pull by L, N3 Pull by R, N4 Alle L 1x, N3 by R, form
wavy lines with N2, LH to N2, ladies in center.
A2. Bal, Spin L, Bal, Spin R ...
Then something? Maybe ladies spin all the way across on that second spin,
B+S partner, circle, do-si-do?
Or maybe the pull-bys go back to N1, and RH to N1 in waves?
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Just got a request from Axel Roehborn of the Erlanger Tanzhaus in Germany
asking for dances to be submit for a workbook.
Anyone have any familiarity with Axel or the group?
As an academic, I get all sorts of requests for papers with publication
fees. This seems different, but set off my internal phishing sensors.