Traditional New England Barn Dances
Dudley Laufman & Jacqueline Laufman
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.
Sample Week Program
STORIES SONGS TUNE-GUESS
Following is just a sample of the way a class would be done
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
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
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
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
Tunes: Marching Through Georgia / Camptown Races / Oh Susannah / Arkansas Traveler
Stories: Hat Trick / Arthur Hanson
Songs: Farmer Boy / Holmfirth Anthem
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