Saturday, April 16, noon to 11 pm
Boynton Middle School, 1601 N. Cayuga St., Ithaca
As fern fiddleheads push their way through winter-squashed litter and tardy snow, dancers and musicians will also unfurl in 11 hours of nonstop contra, English country, squares, waltzes, instrumental workshops, and jamming. Fabulous New England-based band Elixir, with Ethan Hazzard-Watkins on fiddle, Anna Patton on clarinet and vocals, Jesse Hazzard-Watkins on trumpet and flugelhorn, Owen Morrison on guitar and foot percussion, and multi-talented caller-trombonist-vocalist Nils Fredland, will ignite the crowd with the brassiest contra dances around. It’s a happy fusion–with finesse–of big-band, traditional Celtic and French Canadian, Dixieland jazz, swing, reggae, and rock. The tone ranges from raucous to serene; always creative and impossible for dancers to resist! Nils Fredland is an inventive, wildly popular and gifted caller who wowed the crowd at the 2007 Fiddlehead Frolic with fun, interwoven dances never before seen in Ithaca. Nils and Elixir will also do some singing squares learned from grand master Ralph Sweet, will provide flowing tunes for English country dances taught by Pamela Goddard, and will lead an instrumental workshop. Energy to spare!
Ithaca’s own O’Shanigans (in high demand throughout the region), with Tim Ball on soulful fiddle, Michael Ludgate on mandolin, and Phil Robinson on guitar, will offer more contras (called by Katy Heine), waltz sessions, and a contra medley. http://canaaninstitute.org/oshanigans.html
Mad Goat String Band (Peter Fraissinet on fiddle and banjo, Joe Hayward on banjo, Tom Ruscitti on mandolin and hammered dulcimer, Marianne Marsh and Nancy Spero on [double] bass) will play for an old-time square dance with Nancy Spero calling. Informal jam marathons will occur afternoon and evening (no charge for those who come just to jam).
If high spirits and sublime, hot music are not fuel enough, there will be sandwiches/light lunch and a waltz jam at noon and a community potluck supper at 6:15 pm. There’s also a silent auction (with wonderful donated goods and services). Whether it’s your fingers or feet that are flying, you’ll find hours of delight in spring-celebratory company at the Fiddlehead Frolic, hosted by Hands Four Dancers of Ithaca.
Prices vary by session (afternoon, evening, all-day); discount for HFDI members. Full schedule and details at http://www.hands4dancers.org/frolic/2011/index.html or call 607-539-3174. Out-of-towners who need a place to stay should contact Susan Arnsten-Russell at 607-277-0770 or email@example.com. Newcomers are welcome; each dance is taught, there a just a few basic steps, and the dance community is friendly and happy to help beginners. You don’t need to bring a partner, but you will need clean, soft-soled shoes (to protect the floor). Hands Four Dancers is a community-run, all-volunteer nonprofit dedicated to promoting great dances in the region, and the Frolic is our home-grown festival, guaranteed to induce euphoria!
RSVP ON FACEBOOK! See who else is coming!! https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=140384776025805