Readers know from previous Feel Good Fridays that I love good music and dancing. This video makes me feel *real* good. It is a video of a contra dance featuring the band Perpetual e-Motion.
Contra dance has its roots in Old English Dancing and the primary goals of contra dancing are 1) community building, and 2) have fun. Unlike square dancing, each dance is a set pattern of moves which the caller teaches with a walk through and then calls to remind of the repeating pattern when the music starts. If you notice, the caller’s “reminders” get shorter and eventually cease altogether as the dancers remember the pattern themselves. Anyone can contra dance because it’s fun and easy!
The band Perpetual e-Motion is playing a style of music some refer to as “Americana Groove”, a fusion of traditional bluegrass and celtic music with jazz and other styles of music. To see how master fiddler Ed Howe creates those awesome rhythms with his fiddle, check this out.
I’m going to dance to Perpetual e-Motion next month. Be very jealous.
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Contredanse is very popular where I live, in Maine. I haven’t been to a dance in years, but this was a great reminder of how much fun they are (and why I should start going again!) Thank you so much for posting this.
Perpetual e-Motion is based in Maine so get going finding a contra dance where they are playing!
I would think that would make a great ice breaker for a weekend or week long retreat. Since the crowd moves around so much you are getting to dance with and interact with multiple people. After the fun, energetic interaction like that it is hard to be shy.
Wow! Americana, you say? I hope we Canadians can ‘borrow” it from you. It looks like so much fun!
How wonderful! It took me straight back to the country dances we had, in the little village where I grew up. As you say, a great way to meet your neighbours of all ages, without getting drunk and leary.
In Worcestershire, a pie and pea supper was traditional afterwards. What do you eat in Maine!
Fascinating. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard a didgeridoo used for contra dancing! My personal preference is a bit more traditional, I’ve done ECD and morris in the past.
Well, now you’ve done it – I just looked up contra dancing in my area, and I’m going next Saturday! It looks like tremendous fun, a bit like Cajun dancing, which I once described to a friend as being “the most fun you can have with your clothes on.”
Thanks fort posting this! I’m definitely going to check out that band — they’ve got to have a web presence!
Thanks that was interesting. It’s funny as I’d just posted a comment on the discussion board about Scottish Country dancing then found this here!
I’d always assumed that the two were very similar as ‘country’ comes from contra or contre, meaning opposite, but it was the differences I saw here. For example allemande to me is a two couple move by which they change places over 8 bars, not a turn, as you have. It’s very fast paced isn’t it? I think most of the figures were four bars at most, so you’ve got to keep alert.
I found it intriguing, but I’m afraid, that eventually if I were doing this I would find, as with barn dances, that I’d find it a bit dull, as I enjoy the challenge of getting through a complex dance or the lovely patterns of a simple one.
That’s just me though, as I could see that the people dancing here were having a wonderful time and ultimately it comes down to having fun together.
Mojo- Here on the coast of Maine, we’d probably go for a supper of fried haddock with fries/chips, maybe a lobster roll (lobster meat mixed with mayonnaise or melted butter, on a toasted roll- so delicious!) After that, blueberry pie or a whoopie pie (two cakelike patties sandwiched around a fluffy, sweet creamy filling.) Further North, where my family lives, we’d definitely go for poutine- pommes frites topped with fresh cheese curds and beef gravy. Not healthy, but quite tasty.