Traditional New England Barn Dances
Dudley Laufman & Jacqueline Laufman
Since 1986, Jacqueline and Dudley Laufman have been playing for dances as Two Fiddles. Prior to that, Dudley, who has been playing and calling dances for over fifty years, has been the leader of the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra, the first dance band to make an LP recording, in 1971, of the New England jigs and reels most often used for dancing.
"The two fiddles have strength and unison...The circulation of the melodies quickly links itself to their calls. Rarely getting out of their seat, giving clean but brief instructions, they allow the dance to organize itself as it proceeds."
- Kevin Gardner
As dance fiddlers, Jacqueline and Dudley have an earthy sound that combines with the beating of their feet as they call out the figures for old time New Hampshire barn and square dances. They are self-taught and play by ear, having learned by the oral tradition. They continue this tradition through their own students and apprentices.
TWO FIDDLES has toured widely throughout the northeast as well as the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Hawaii, Quebec, Wisconsin, Kansas, Minnesota. They have a small ballroom in their Canterbury, NH, home where they hold dances whenever there is a fifth weekend. See the Schedule for Wind in the Timothy dances.
The kinds of dances they do are Virginia reels, circle dances, square and contre dances, and dances from the colonial period to the present. Everyone is able to join in the dances; no experience needed.
They play in barns, private homes, town halls, schools, fairs, festivals, weddings, camps, Elderhostel's, etc. They average about 300 engagements per year and are often booked 6-9 months in advance.
Most of their work is in New Hampshire, but they also travel to other parts of New England, United States and Canada. They were selected to represent traditional dancing at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival 1999 in Washington, DC.
Dudley, age 82, began calling dances in l948 Jacqueline is 60 and began playing fiddle in l986. They live on the edge of the woods in a little house they built themselves. Besides the dance hall, it has one main room, with a loft overhead, and a bedroom to one side.
The house is heated with wood, no television, three cats. A big garden provides much of their food. They do have a car, telephone, electricity, video cassette player, and a computer for their business, and a computer for Dudley's writing. They live this way by choice because it is fun and an adventure.
Portsmouth is their favorite city in New Hampshire but they enjoy visiting Quebec City, Canada, especially in winter. They like good books, movies, and special food at holidays. They often go hiking, cross country skiing, and canoeing.
Dudley is interested in tornadoes, lacrosse and ice hockey. He is currently editing a manuscript of his poems to send to publishers. Jacqueline likes being creative in many mediums, teasing Dudley and beating him at hockey.
Playing their fiddles for dancing is what they love best.
Visit the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts website: New Hampshire Folklife www.nh.gov/folklife
Jacqueline & Dudley Laufman
PO Box 61, Canterbury, NH, USA 03224
Tel: 603-783-4719 Fax: 603-783-9578
New email as of January 2007:
jdlaufman (at) comcast (dot) net
(Put the @ symbol in above address instead of the word (at) with no spaces and a . between comcast and net to deter spam.)
Last updated: 03/07/2013