Two years ago, New England Conservatory revived the tradition of the barn dance — and we don't even own a barn! Thanks to a surge of interest in fiddle music, NEC's Contemporary Improvisation department is able to host these interactive events, which we hope to offer on a regular basis. Today's dance celebrates the launch of Contemporary Improvisation studies for Preparatory and Continuing Education students, but all are welcome. Here's a video of a previous event that will give you the basic idea.
You will be dancing to live, hot Appalachian fiddle music by Prep/CE Contemporary Improvisation program chair Eden MacAdam-Somer, whose weekends take her all over North America as a contra dance musician. Caller Nils Fredland will share traditional American dances that are fun and easy to do.
noon – 1:00 PM: Fiddling workshop
Open to all instruments and voices, any age, any level. We will learn a tune, put together an arrangement, and open up the dance with our band.
1:00 – 3:00 PM: Barn Dance
Everyone is invited to get out on the floor and learn fun and easy dances. All are welcome, so bring your families and friends of all ages. No partners or dance experience necessary. If you can walk, you can dance!
Here's what Eden MacAdam-Somer has to say about this dance:
"Barn dances (also known as ceilidhs, square dances, contra dances, hoe-downs, etc.) have long been a way of celebrating the seasons, gathering with friends, and passing winter nights. Although most of us recognize community dancing as a part of our history, many people do not realize that community dancing is still an important part of life for people all over the world."