Traditional New England Barn Dances

Dudley Laufman & Jacqueline Laufman

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Elderhostel

AN EVENING PROGRAM

First half of the program (about 45 minutes):

We stand at the doorway and play our fiddles while folks are arriving. After it appears that most have arrived, we sit down and play a few tunes. These are jigs, reels, hornpipes, and schottisches that have been used regularly at New England dances. We talk a little bit about ourselves and encourage questions. Occasionally, a question will lead us into a related story or discussion.

Dudley is likely to tell a true (or mostly true) story about some stodgy New Hampshire character. His humor is dry Yankee humor. He also might toss in a story-joke if there's a connection to something that has already been said.

Next, we do a tune-guess. We play six to eight songs or tunes that most folks are likely to know and can guess at. Some of the tunes would be: Camptown Races, Golden Slippers, Red Wing, Hinky Dinky Parlez Vous, Turkey in the Straw, Grandfather's Clock, etc. If someone complains about how bad their memory is, we might tell three memory stories.

We play some French Canadian tunes and clog our feet at the same time, giving a strong dancing beat. Jacqueline wears wooded clogs and creates a bright staccato rhythm.

Dudley plays a tune on the concertina and talks about it, and we usually sing an interesting version of Clementine sung to a Welsh hymn.

All of this allows folks to size us up before the dancing and thus feel less intimidated. We strongly encourage questions and comments.

Second half of the program (usually about 45 minutes):

People choose a partner and form on in longways sets for a Virginia Reel. The Portland Fancy and the Paul Jones, a mixer, usually follow this.

The remainder of the evening consists of more dances that everyone can without having had any previous experience. Possible dances to do are Sir Roger de Coverly, Brandy, Old Cotillion, Lancer's Reel, La Bastringue, Grande Salute, Squares, Hinky Dinky, Crooked Stovepipe, Marching Through Georgia.

Always end the evening with light refreshments.


Elderhostel

Sample Week Program

STORIES           SONGS           TUNE-GUESS

Following is just a sample of the way a class would be done

 

DAY ONE:

Tunes: Greensleeves / Nancy Dawson / Malbrouk / Irish Washerwoman

Stories: Insulation / Boat Burner / Rosin

Talk: Each day, different aspects of New England folklore, i.e. the dance, stories and music. 

Dances: Grande Salute, Virginia Reel, Portland Fancy

 

DAY TWO:

Tunes: La Belle Catherine / Yankee Doodle / Sailor's Hornpipe

Stories: Cherry Bomb / Great Blue Heron / Coffee

Talk:  History of dancing in New England

Dances: Marching Through Georgia, Birdie in the Cage, Sir Roger de Coverly

 

DAY THREE:

Tunes: Wearing of the Green/Scotland the Brave/Blue Bells/ When Johnny Comes Marching Home

Stories: Eddie Murdough / Gunnar Kangas

Songs: Cape Cod Girls

Talk: About us, how we live, our travels

Dances: Paul Jones, Low Backed Car, Rye Waltz

 

DAY FOUR:

Tunes: Turkey in the Straw / Golden Slippers /Red Wing / Grandfather's Clock

Stories: Old Cat / Logger / Chocolate Cream Soda

Dances: variations on all the ones done so far

 

DAY FIVE:

Tunes: Marching Through Georgia / Camptown Races / Oh Susannah / Arkansas Traveler

Stories: Hat Trick / Arthur Hanson

Songs: Farmer Boy / Holmfirth Anthem

Dances: variations

 


TWO FIDDLES

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: 03/05/2013

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