Sounds fabulous!! Thanks for sharing. I wish I could've been there.
On Dec 23, 2008, at 3:15 PM, Will Loving wrote:
I’d like to share with you a lovely experience I had last Saturday
experience unique in my 27+ years of contra dancing. The event was the
second of two consecutive nights of dancing with Wild Asparagus
the music for the entire dance was being recorded. The Guiding Star
hall (Greenfield, MA) was filled with mostly experienced dancers who
the snowstorms and the stage was filled with extra musicians and
microphone chords to support both the recording and the sound to the
Lisa Greenleaf was calling so that George Marshall could focus on
At most regular dances we have a walkthrough once, maybe twice, and
four beats for nothing to start. This night was different for a
reasons to accommodate the recording. First, most of the bands
longer, 8 or 16 beats, and second, the dancers were asked be quiet
the intro and the first round of the dance (as well as during the
In addition, in order to keep things quiet, there was no calling for
first three moves or so of the first time through the dance.
In order to make this all happen smoothly, Lisa did two careful
walk-throughs followed by the entire hall listening to and then
the introduction and first few moves a couple of times. In so doing,
able to all know when to come in and perform the first part of the
without cues. After that, Lisa would come in quietly as required.
Now here’s the magical part: You have an entire hall of dancers,
standing in long wavy lines ready to balance. It’s completely quiet.
Tracy starts playing the introduction on her fiddle and 16 beats
hear 100+ bodies balancing right, balancing left, and then sliding
the right – all with no talking and no calls, just the sound of the
and everyone dancing in unison. And it continued from there and was
throughout the night with each new dance.
Of course, people can’t be quiet for long, especially when Wild
playing, but those first few moments were an extraordinary
Greenfield dance is often so noisy during the walkthroughs and
dances and it
was sheer joy (for me at least) to have it all pared down to just the
essence of the music and the swish and step of dancers moving
Perhaps someday, if I get the opportunity and support from the
love to ask everyone to try being quiet just for the first time
dance, just to have some experience of that again.
Thanks to Lisa for her masterful management and calling and to Wild
Asparagus (extended) group on stage for the fabulous music. When the
released, you are all in for a treat.
"A contra-dance is like an amusement park that we make for ourselves."
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