BELFAST — Belfast Flying Shoes recently donated four dance-related scholarly works to the Belfast Free Library, to help locals connect Flying Shoes’ vibrant culture of participatory music and dance to its deep roots. The local arts nonprofit also donated a set of instructional books and recordings for community dance leaders.
"Dance has long been vital to the community of Belfast,” said Sharon Pietryka, Reference/Special Collections librarian, in a Flying Shoes news release. “Even a cursory exploration of local newspaper archives reveals its prominence in the social lives of the city's residents. The Belfast Free Library is pleased to make these important histories available to the public. "
Belfast Flying Shoes board member, Chrissy Fowler, adds, "We can't join hands together in dance right now, but with these four eye-opening books, we can learn more about the complex histories and diverse aspects of our local traditions. I'm also thrilled that the New England Dancing Masters resources – which have influenced my own dance leadership – are now available for teachers, parents, homeschoolers, and community leaders alike."
In Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics: Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance, author Phil Jamison undertakes the challenge of "uncovering reliable evidence to explain the historical development of these American folk dances," as practiced by a "diverse mix of Europeans, African Americans, and indigenous Native Americans."
Thomas Turino's Music as Social Life: The Politics of Participation explores "why it is that music and dance are so often at the center of our most profound personal and social experiences."
Rounding out the donation are Communities in Motion and Appalachian Dance: Creativity and Continuity in Six communities.
The mission of Belfast Flying Shoes is to bolster the spirited dance and music community of Midcoast Maine.
Visit belfastlibrary.org and belfastflyingshoes.org for more.