Surrounded by fall folliage in Plymouth, VT this weekend, I danced and played at Youth Dance Weekend.
It was a whirlwind of movement to tunes new and old (the "techno contra" began at 1 am), and a good time to sit and talk with people about who is dancing to and playing this music...and why?
Contra dancing seems to be moving healthily toward a strong, inter-generational future (with weekends like this, who could deny that?). In other ways, contra dance, while already a mish-mosh of many traditions, has had trouble sharing the dance and music with people diverse in race and class -- not just in age.
Yes, I believe that these traditions are precious in and of themselves (as beautiful, historic music & movements), but More Importantly, I believe that these traditions are precious because of what they do for us as people, as groups, as communities. Contra dance visibly brings people together: to move together, make eye contact, smile at each other, trust one another.
This stuff is worth making accessible. It's worth sharing.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Fiddle & Dance Project will be working closely with two organizations throughout this year:
1. Community MusicWorks (CMW) in Providence, RI, will incubate this project, offering physical and mentoring support in the office and acting as a fiscal agent. Fiddle & Dance Project is both informed and inspired by Rachel's two-year immersion in CMW's culture and organization through the Fellowship Program and shares CMW's philosophy of music and social change.
2. Woodlawn Community Development Corporation, or Woodlawn CDC, "strives to improve the economic and social well-being of the Woodlawn Community, with an emphasis on low-income residents (%77), by empowering them through education, advocacy and innovation." Woodlawn CDC will host Fiddle & Dance Project's weekly lessons this year as well as some special events.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Community MusicWorks Fiddle Lab players performed tunes at the Labor & Ethnic Heritage Festival at Slater Mill in Pawtucket on Sunday, generating buzz both about their playing and about the Fiddle & Dance Project.
This festival was part of the larger Pawtucket Arts Festival, which continues over the next few weeks. Tunes we played included Mairi's Wedding, Have you been to Ireland, Roddy McCorley, Angeline the Baker & All the Way to Galway. Thanks to Michelle Kaminsky & Adrienne Taylor for joining in the music making!
Lots of festival attendees joined our email list to find out more about upcoming special events and dances. You can receive updates, too, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org