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
Hello All! I wanted to write a dance in celebration of my stepping into the Libra Sun for the 70th time. I wanted it to be very balanced, in Libra fashion.
Anyone seen this dance before? It is not like anything in my data base that has Mad Robin in the A1, but I did not search the other figures.
Thanks for your input!
> Begin forwarded message:
> From: Jean Gibson-Gorrindo <jgorrindo(a)charter.net>
> Subject: "70 Libra Suns" by Jean Gorrindo
> Date: September 24, 2019 at 8:25:56 AM PDT
> To: jean gorrindo <jgorrindo(a)charter.net>
> 70 Libra Suns
> by Jean Gorrindo
> A1 -----------
> (8) Mad Robin (Ladies pass in front moving Right
> (8) Balance the ring and spin to the right (petronella)
> A2 -----------
> (16) Partner balance and swing
> B1 -----------
> (8) 1/2 Hey, Ladies passing right shoulders
> (8) Ladies allemande Right 1-1/2
> B2 -----------
> (16) Neighbor balance and swing
I'm pretty behind publishing a year or so of dances, but wanted to check in
since this one may be done?
I riffed off Nils' Spring Fever, swapping petronellas for the circulate,
then changed the simple B2 to fit the ending in a wave. Test driven Sunday
in Greenfield, MA.
Going Out For Bao
Ron T Blechner
D.I., start in long waves with Larks facing out, Ravens facing in
A1. Bal Wave, Ravens X, Larks Loop R (4,4)
Bal Wave, Larks X, Ravens Loop R (4,4)
A2. N B+S (4,12)
B1. Larks Lead 1/2 Hey, Ravens Ricochet, Partner Swing (16)
B2. Pass Thru Straight Across (4ish) (face P)
P Alle L 1x (6ish)
Larks Pull By R (2ish)
N Alle L 1 + 1/4 (6ish) (RH to New N to form waves)
I’m having some minor delivery issues. I’ll be able to work on this again tomorrow. (I have to take care of my parenting trick-or-treat duties this afternoon and evening!)
Thanks for your patience. Please hold off on conversations to the lists for now.
I try and call the dances of Rich Blazej whenever I can and this one's a
Halloween favorite, re-done as "Werewolves and Zombies".
*Garfield's Escape* -- circle of couples PLUS ONE EXTRA in the center
A1 All into the center EIGHT steps and back, menacing the Garfield
A2 Circle left, circle right
B1 Women (werewolves) promenade single file to the right, while men
(zombies) "star" by the right -- each man puts his right hand on right
shoulder of the man in front - including Garfield.
B2 Caller hollers "Escape!" ("Boo!", or maybe "Braaaiiins") and all men
run to the outside and swing with a woman in the outer circle. A new
Garfield remains in the center.
Rich himself named this after Garfield the comic-strip cat, way back when
he was cynical and funny (the cat, not Rich).
"The single man remaining at the end of the dance is entitled to a pan of
lasagna and some fresh kitty litter".
My favorite normal tune for this is the minor jig Coleraine, played at a
slightly slower lurch-y tempo, but if I'm lucky the band'll do the Alfred
Have fun, just thought I'd share -- and I'd love to hear how it goes if you
do it, and what variations emerge.
Hello dear callers,
At long last, Shared Weight is getting ready to move to a new email host. I will be working to transition the four @sharedweight.net lists to the new host in the next week or so. I’m sure there will be some hiccups during the transition, so please hang in there with me. On the day of the move, I will send an email saying that the move is in progress. (Any emails you send during the transition may not get in to the archives.)
Ideally, you won’t even notice the change.
This is just a heads up to let you know it’s coming.
PS - For those that care about the details, I’ve built up a Linode VM running Debian Stretch and Mailman3. Outbound list traffic will go through AWS since they tend to have a good spam reputation.
I'm sorry to announce that Ann Appleing died on the morning of 17th October.
For as long as I can remember, Derek and Ann have been a Folk Sales point. Their caravan was a familiar sight at many
Folk Festivals and dance weekends in England, and they had an enormous supply of books, CDs and other items related to
folk dancing and music.
If you want any more information, please contact Derek Appleing: Derek-Ann(a)Folksales.co.uk
Hello encyclopedic dance minds. Does this dance already exist?
Formation: Becker, CW
A1: [slide left] new ravens allemande right 1.5; neighbor swing
A2: Circle left 3/4; balance the ring, neighbor CA twirl
B1: balance, petronella twirl; balance, box circulate
B2: balance, slide right; partner swing
Question 2: is petronella followed by box circulate boring?
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I share the concern about driving a lot to get to dance events.
FWIW: The Concord Scout House is 0.6 miles from the Concord commuter rail station, which has approximately hourly service (more frequent in rush hour) to and from North Station in Boston and intermediate stops (including Porter Square for the Red Line subway). Last inbound train just before 11:30 pm.
By contrast, I can pretty easily get to dances in Burlington, VT, from my home in Middlebury, VT, by public bus during rush hour, but there is no return service late in the evening. I need to be more diligent about seeking people to carpool with, but not everyone wants to get to the dance as early as the caller has to, nor stay till the bitter end.