Country Dance*New York will present the Winter Meltdown contra dance on Saturday, March 9, 2013 from 9:00 pm to 11:45 pm at the Chinatown YMCA's Houston Street Center (273 Bowery, near Houston Street, Manhattan). No previous experience is required. From 8:30 pm to 9:00 pm there is a beginners' workshop, and the caller walks everyone through the patterns of each dance. Contra dancing is having a renaissance around the country, thanks to a thriving youth scene; high energy, acoustic music; and joyful, fast-paced, aerobic dancing. There is plenty of swinging your partner and lots of fun, flirting and eye contact.
Live music will be provided by the creative and popular dance band, The Moving Violations, presenting another side of contra music, with a fusion approach that adds their arrangements of dance tunes from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe to contra's Anglo-Celtic framework, all played with energy and abandon. Driving double fiddle harmonies, strong rhythm and improvisation result in a smoothly layered sound as diverse as their repertoire. This wonderfully talented group of musicians consists of Van Kaynor (fiddle), Ron Grosslein (fiddle and mandolin), Chuck Corman (bass, guitar and percussion), and Eric Eid-Reiner (piano). Will Mentor, a highly regarded contra and square dance caller from Northern Vermont, known for his clear teaching, upbeat wit, and relaxed stage presence, will lead the proceedings.
Contra dancing started in New England in the 1700s, but the modern version is a far cry from the Virginia Reel-type dancing done in schools years ago. The current dancing is done in long lines of dancers facing their partners and moving briskly in patterns to live music, sometimes changing partners.
General Information: Admission is $16 general public, and $12 for full-time students with ID. First timers get a free pass to use to come another time. For more information visit the Country Dance*New York website, www.cdny.org or call The Dancephone at 212.459.4080. Attendees are asked to bring a separate pair of clean, soft-soled shoes for dancing.