On Saturday, Jul 2, there will be an extra contra dance at the Quimper Grange in Port Townsend, featuring Two Fiddles, which is to say, Dudley and Jacqueline Laufman. For those of you who may not know, Dudley is pretty much the point person for the modern resurgence of contra dancing. Most of us learned from him, or from somebody else who learned from him, in direct succession. In 2009, the NEA awarded him a National Heritage Foundation grant for his lifetime’s work as a tradition bearer – thus putting contra dance on the nation’s cultural map.
Here is an excerpted summary from Phil Katz, who will be playing a Grange Hall dance himself on June 11:
Dudley's dances look backward in time to how old-fashioned community dances used to be: dances in little town halls and people's barns and parlors, welcoming to all, before dancing sophistication got layered-on, as contradancing became more and more successful [and] widespread. Dudley was not only a key figure when contra dancing was re-started/passed forward in the 1970's', but his approach to dances deliberately looks back to that time, and that is the wonderful thing that the attendee ought to expect. No heys; no gypsies; no pass through to an ocean wave. And simple tunes, mostly one per dance.
Dance workshop 7:30 PM
Regular dance 8 PM
Adults (16 up) $10
Younguns (15 down) $3
Drinks and finger foods will be provided.
Children are most welcome; Dudley has taught in schools since God was a baby. He has emphasized that he would like to see many families and children there.