Dudley and Jacqueline Laufman play jigs, reels and hornpipes while calling traditional New England dances. They were honored to have been selected to present these dances during the two week Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC in 1999. Two years later Dudley was distinguished with the New Hampshire Governor’s Arts Award in Folk Heritage for lifetime achievement and excellence. He has been nominated for the National Folk Heritage Fellowship of the National Endowment for the Arts.
They have toured throughout the United States and performed in Canada, England and Wales. Dudley, who also performed in Greece and Turkey, has published books of poetry, dances and musicians, and numerous documentaries recordings. He plays accordion, concertina, harmonica, is a Yankee storyteller, and has been at all of this for over 56 years.
Both Dudley and Jacqueline are self-taught having learned by the oral tradition. They fiddle while calling and clogging their feet at the same time. Jacqueline apprenticed to Dudley in 1986 and continues to pass on this way of learning to her own fiddle students.
While earning their living as Two Fiddles, they also play in the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra of which Dudley is the leader. Tunes from several of the LP albums have been re-released on a CD. They have authored two educational books with CDs: White Mountain Reel and Sweets of May, especially suited for music, physed and classroom teachers and recreation leaders. Easy to use, one track has the dance calls and the next tract has only the music so leaders can do their own calls using the directions in the book. White Mountain Reel Companions, arrangements by Janet Farrar-Royce, is a set of three texts of the dance tunes for violin, viola and cello. Also playing on these recordingss are Jane Orzechowski of Old New England and the Sugar River String Band.
A hour and half documentary film on Dudley by David Millstone, The Other Way Back: Dancing with Dudley, was released in 2007.
Schedule, articles, booking info and more on the Laufman’s website at www.laufman.org. Poetry by Dudley and other poets at www.WindInTheTimothyPress.com
New Hampshire State Folklorist: Community dances were once held in barns and grange halls throughout New England. A welcome break from the hard work of running a farm, dances were usually square dances or dances with simple repetitive movements done in lines and circles…Two Fiddles are widely loved and respected in New Hampshire for their tireless efforts to preserve and promote what they have to come to call New England barn dancing. —Lynn Martin Graton, State Folklorist NH State Council on the Arts 1999 Governor’s Awards in the Arts
Yankee Magazine: History owes Dudley Laufman a great debt, as do those of us who love to gather and dance and share music. —Dec. l995
BOSTON SUNDAY GLOBE: …this was the first inkling that Laufman’s dances had some significance beyond providing entertainment that gave old-timers, businessmen, professionals and young, back-to-earth types some common ground. —Nov. 15, l998
DARTMOUTH PROFESSOR: Dudley has maintained his steadfast commitment to the essentials of his art: dancing as a community event that provides fun, relaxation and aesthetic satisfaction. —Theodore Levin Associate Professor of Music Dartmouth College
Concord Monitor: Laufman’s dances are a wonderful way to have people meet one another. The phobias about smiling, touching and shaking hands that make people nervous are all passed by. —Sept. 26, 1998