"There is magic in contra music that you have to hear to understand why people keep on wanting to do it. When you see somebody come in a hall who hasn't danced before, their eyes just light right up. They get swept up into it physically. You all of a sudden are being involved in this music - besides playing it or listening to it, you are doing something to it. And it's something you are not doing solo. It is something you do with other people"
Dudley Laufman, from Together in Time - A Contra Video
Contra is alive and well in New England, both on the local level and at the big events.
The NEFFA Festival is held by the New England Folk Festival Association in the Boston area in late April each year. Thousands attend this weekend event and enjoy all sorts of music and dance. Info from www.neffa.org
The Ralph Page Legacy Weekend, also sponsored by NEFFA, is held each January on the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham, NH. Focused on the New England contra tradition, it draws several hundred dancers. Info from www.neffa.org
The Fall Ball in October and the Snow Ball in January attract several hundred dancers each year. The Monadnock Folklore Society sponsors these two wonderful noon to midnight, four band contra dances in Peterborough, NH. MFS also sponsors the Monday night Nelson Contra Dance in Nelson, NH, going for almost 200 years. Info from www.monadnockfolk.org.
The Dance Flurry draws over a thousand dancers to a weekend event each February to Saratoga Springs, NY. Info from www.danceflurry.org.
Dawn Dances are held on Sunday of the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends in Brattleboro, VT. Some 500 dancers usually enjoy three bands playing from 8 PM to 7 AM the next morning. Info from www.dawndance.org.
American Dance Week at Pinewoods, MA is a wonderful week long dance experience. It and other events at Pinewoods are offered by the Country Dance and Song Society. Info from www.cdss.org
Star Island Weekend A magical dance and social experience, held on an island off the coast of New Hampshire each September. Info at www.nhcountrydance.com
Return to Home Page