BELFAST — Belfast Flying Shoes presents two English country dance (ECD) events, Sunday, October 6, at the First Baptist Church. A musicians’s workshop will take place at 3 p.m., and an English country dance starts at 7 p.m.
English country dance is a tradition similar to the local contra dance culture, emphasizing both participatory dancing and live music. The general public may have seen Regency-era dancing in period films like Pride & Prejudice.
“Contemporary English dancing is more like our first Friday contras – no costumes, gorgeous music, and a lot of smiling people,” said Flying Shoes, in a news release.
Rachel Bell and Karen Axelrod, of the musical duo Peregrine Road which plays for English country dances and contra dances, will lead a Musicians’ Workshop at 3 p.m. $5- 15 sliding scale donation. Participants will learn skills and strategies for playing English country dance music, including specific tunes. At the English country dance that same evening, workshop participants may sit in with Peregrine Road for a set or two. All musicians are welcome.
Although reading music can be an important aspect of playing ECD music, Bell and Axelrod will teach repertoire that is accessible to musicians who play by ear (and is also fun for fluent sight-readers, said Shoes.)
Also on Sunday, October 6, at 7 p.m., Dereck Kalish will lead an English Country Dance for all with music by Peregrine Road. Admission is $8 – $20, sliding scale.
“Experience the delightful breadth of English dance repertoire: energetic and regal, frisky and deliberate, simple figures and slightly challenging sequences. Vive la différence!” said Shoes.
Dereck Kalish, a Boston-area caller who leads both contra and English country dances, will facilitate dancers’ joy in the ECD tradition. The dance will also feature sublime music, played expertly by Rachel and Karen, with workshop participants rounding out the ensemble for a couple of dances. Sweets and tea/coffee at the break.
Visit www.belfastflyingshoes.org/calendar to learn more.