Date(s) - 01/06/2013
6:30 pm - 10:00 pm
The Barnacle Historic State Park
Contradance at Barnacle Historic State Park
Local Contradancers will be kicking off the new year with a special Contradance at The Barnacle Historic State Park on Sunday January 6, 2013. The dance will begin at 7:00 p.m. and there will be instruction for new dancers about a half-hour before the dance. Admission is $10.00 and the dance benefits the Park’s Historic Society.
Contradance is a fast moving, flirtatious style of partnered American folk dance. The roots of Contradance go back to revolutionary days but modern dancers have revived the style, keeping the most active characteristics and adding a modern flair. Especially among younger dancers a revival of sorts has been happening in metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, Seattle and Boston. The dance is particularly attractive younger dancers because it’s an active dance – dancers plan on getting a good work-out – that’s flirtatious and easy to learn. Many men appreciate that the dance is easy to learn and forgiving if you’re new and inexperienced. Also by tradition the dances are alcohol and drug free. Dancers may be a little confused at first, but they catch on quickly and usually have a good time from the beginning.
While there is a structure to Contradance, the dancers are less interested in “getting it right” than they are in having a good time and dancing to the music.
Contradances are traditionally done to live music, usually using a fiddle, a guitar, perhaps a mandolin, banjo or keyboard and sometimes a flute, whistle, dobro, bass or a variety of other instruments. The band for the January 6 dance is Southern Atlantic Muse, a local band that’s been developing a fast growing following.
The dance is led by a “caller” who does whatever instruction is necessary, helps to explain the dances and walks dancers through the various figures. But there’s a lot of improvising within the Contradance structure and dancers are encouraged to embellish and establish a personal style.
There’s been a longstanding and successful Contradance at the Barnacle on mostly fourth Sundays. There are also Contradances scheduled nearby at Tobacco Road and Bayfront Park, both in Miami.
The caller for the Barnacle dances is Louis F. Dow. He has long experience organizing and calling Contradances in Florida, Los Angeles and Indiana. He choreographs most of the dances he calls, making him what might be termed a caller/choreographer. Dow is also an artist specializing in etchings and drawings. He runs the Fulwood Press printmaking studio in the Wynwood Arts section of Miami.
Following the January 6 dance, there will be a dance at the Barnacle on every fourth Sunday through June. The 2013-2014 season begins in September, 2013, More information is available by visiting the web site at ContradanceMiami.com, by e-mail at lfdow@ContradanceMiami.com or by phone at 818-305-4048.
More information is available by visiting the web site at ContradanceMiami.com, by e-mail at lfdow@ContradanceMiami.com or by phone at 818-305-4048.