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Fiddlehead Frolic 2018: A Moving Experience
April 7 @ 12:00 pm - 11:00 pm$18 - $40
What better way to embrace Spring than with nearly 12 hours of dancing among superb, playful musicians and excellent company from near and far? The 2018 Fiddlehead Frolic, sponsored by member-run Hands Four Dancers of Ithaca, features the renowned Moving Violations (Van Kaynor, fiddle and limberjack; Ron Grosslein, fiddle and mandolin; and Eric Eid-Reiner, piano) from Western Massachusetts, expressive caller Adina Gordon, from Vermont, long-time Albany-area virtuosos George Wilson (fiddle) and Selma Kaplan (keyboard), and beloved local callers. Beverly Martin School has locations for simultaneous activities appealing to dancers, jammers, singers, and silent auction aficionados, plus an instrumental workshop with Moving Violations and a rotary waltz workshop with Rick Lightbody and Carol Johnson. Kicking off the fun at noon is an open jam session with sandwich makings; dancing (mostly contras, with some English Country, squares, and couples dances) with our two bands alternating, goes from 1 to 6 pm, ending with the wildly popular contra medley (an ever-changing nonstop dance with callers taking turns). A potluck supper (6:15-7:30 pm; bring a generous dish to share!) in the cafeteria will supply the needed fuel for the sublime evening session of contra dancing with the Moving Violations (7:30-11:00 pm).
And who are the Moving Violations? Veterans of the Fourgone Conclusions, Swallowtail, Big Bandemonium, and other fine dance bands, they’ve been the backbone of the Western Massachusetts contra dances and are in demand across the country. Many of their fellow musicians and dancers consider them the consummate contra dance band. They’ve won the crowd at the Dance Flurry and beyond with their diverse styles and pacing, their intricate and inventive – but always rhythmic and lyrical — arrangements, and their self-described “affectionate abandon and occasional silliness.” With decades of experience in classical and dance music, they have the skill, energy, and imagination to respect and transmute a wide range of music: Anglo-Celtic, Scandinavian, Eastern European, Klezmer, original compositions, Vivaldi, and Handel Bars. Listen for the exquisite double fiddles, traveling harmonic lines, and creative percussion that make them stand outs.
Caller and dancer Adina Gordon frequently works with, and matches the playful spontaneity of, the Moving Violations. They’re perfectly attuned. With a reputation across North America for her clear, friendly calling, Adina knows how to efficiently teach dances that delight dancers of all levels, creating “contagious eruptions of joy.”
This 11-hour festival has something for people of all ages and experience levels. The dance community always welcomes and assists newcomers. Beginners will find that the few simple steps are easy to learn, and that each dance is taught. Please bring clean, soft-soled shoes to protect the dance floor and food to share at the fabulous potluck supper.