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Spokane Folklore Society
|CALLING ALL DANCE AND CHOCOLATE LOVERS
Valentine Contra Dance February 13
Music by Floating Crowbar
Calling by Emily Faulkner
Featuring the ever-popular
Bring a snack to share and something to dip!
Compliments once again of Liz and Linnea
East Spokane Grange Dance from 7—10 pm, lesson for beginners at 6:45
1621 N. Park Rd. $8 Members and Students, $10 non-members
English Country Dance Comes To Spokane!
By Mitchell Frey and Steve Riggan
On Saturday, January 9, the East Spokane Grange was hopping with over 50 enthusiastic dancers enjoying an evening of English country dance. We would like to thank the Spokane Folklore Society for sponsoring this event and Pete Holm for supplying and running the sound system.
The Prestwold Players provided the music. This band grew out of the Lady of the Lake Music and Dance Week in June 2015. At camp, several musicians formed an English country dance band for camper's night and called the group “Spokane English.” This name was used at camp and also for the English country dance at the Spokane Fall Folk Festival in November. The group decided, after the folk festival, that we needed a name with more character that still evoked a sense of "Englishness" and gentility.
Steve Riggan, pianist for the group, suggested we change the name to "Prestwold Players.” Prestwold is a lovely country manor house in Leicestershire, England, and historically had hosted English country dances in the past.
It was also one of the ancestral homes of Steve's family in the 1600's before they immigrated to America. Even more amazingly, his family is related to Jane Austen, in whose novels English country dancing played an important part (along with letter-writing!).
The English country dance era begins with the publication of John Playford's “The English Dancing Master” in 1651, which is one of the first dance collections ever published. This style of dance spread across the European continent and was known in the court of Louis XIV of France as “contradanse.” Country dance music influenced the compositions of Beethoven, Purcell, and Mozart and they were known to write tunes and dance sets just for that purpose.
These dances came with the colonists to America and developed into the forms we now know as contra dancing and square dancing. In the last 50 years, more dances and tunes have been written in the “English country dance” style than were written during the 169 years between 1651 and 1820. More people enjoy English country dances today and in more locations than ever before. Now is the Golden Age of English country dance!
For more information on English country dance, contact Milhea Frey at (509) 981-3151 or Mitchell Frey at (208) 882-5101.
Editor’s note: For a brief movie of our dance, search on YouTube for “English country dance Spokane”, or click on the link if you are reading this online.
See the Spokane Folklore Society Facebook page for another article about the English country dance.
Calling all musicians!
Would you like to join the monthly jam band at the contra dances but aren’t sure you’re ready?
Come to the slow jam and learn the tunes at an easier pace, with no impatient dancers wishing you would step it up!
We start with a friendly potluck dinner from 5—6 pm, then play music until 8. All musicians and ability levels are welcome!
Friday, February 5 in the Great Hall at St. John Cathedral, 127 E. 12th Ave., Spokane. 6:30 family foods potluck, 7—8 dancing. A free-will offering pays the band.
Circle, line, contra, folk, and novelty dances, all taught by Susan Dankovich. Join us for family fun! (509) 533-9955 or email@example.com.
* Woman’s Club: 1428 W. 9th Ave, Spokane
** East Valley Grange: 1621 N. Park Rd., Spokane Valley
COMING IN MARCH—SPONSORED BY THE SPOKANE FOLKLORE SOCIETY
Craver, Hicks, Watson, & Newberry
Founding members of the original Red Clay Ramblers
Come see these giants of the modern Old Time Music revival
Craver, Hicks, and Watson have played together since the 1970’s, and are joined these days by Joe Newberry on banjo and vocals. In 2012, Craver, Hicks, Watson & Newberry released an album of their current repertoire entitled You’ve Been a Friend to Me. Recent performances include A Prairie Home Companion.
Friday, March 4 at 7 pm
Westminster United Church of Christ
411 S. Washington, Spokane
Tickets: $15 advance $17 at the door. More information call the SFS at (509) 747-2640.
Spotlight on Sponsors:
Cynthia Hallanger of
Cynthia has been a proud member of SFS for over 25 years. In the 1990’s, she served on the SFS board for six years, as treasurer for two years and president for three. The Fall Folk Festival was created by board members during her term, a source of particular pride.You can contact Cynthia at 509-838-7570, firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to her at a Wednesday dance (or ask her to be your partner!).
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