Pitt’s Spring Maggot 2018

An English Country Dance Weekend 4/6-8 2018, Pittsburgh PA

David Millstone AND Alchemy

David Millstone is an experienced New England caller of contra and English country dances, and president of the Country Dance and Song Society.  See https://www.davidmillstonedance.com/ for much fascinating information and samples of his historical work.

Alchemy brings together Rachel Bell, Karen Axelrod and Eric Martin, who are steeped in traditional English Country Dance and Contra Dance music. Individually, they have performed across the United States, Canada, and Europe. As a trio, their improvisatory style brings a contemporary and innovative feel to both traditional and newly composed tunes and songs.   http://rachelbellmusic.com/rachels-bands/

English Workshops and Dances:

Saturday: Waltz 1:30-2

Workshop “New Tunes, New Dances” 2-5 Pat Shaw played a vital role in opening up the English country dance world, declaring, essentially, that these are folk dances, that we are the folk, and that we can create new dances. Following his lead, recent decades have seen a proliferation of dances as choreographers repurpose old figures and create fresh patterns. Contemporary composers also draw from a wide range of influences, creating many tunes that are distinctly different from early Playford. The confluence of these two activities has yielded a New Golden Age of English country dance. In this session, we’ll explore new dances set to new tunes, and we’ll explore how choreography and music both affect the way we move on the dance floor.

Dance Party 8-11.  Our Evening Ball. Festive Attire encouraged.

Sunday: Workshop Kynaston and Kin 10:30-12:30. Many of the dances of Nathaniel Kynaston, early 18th century, stand out for their creative patterns. Similarly, some contemporary choreographers design unique figures for dancers to enjoy. Learning such dances takes more effort, with a corresponding sense of satisfaction upon success. In this session, aimed at dancers with some experience and skill, we'll tackle moderately challenging dances from Kynaston and
kindred spirits. We will also practice techniques to help us absorb unusual material.

Dance Fun 1:30-3:30.  Dances for all to end the weekend.

At our new venue Winchester Thurston School Gym, 555 Morewood Ave., Pittsburgh PA 15213.  The gym is in the rear; enter from Ellsworth Ave.


Friday Contra at 8-11 p.m. Shiloh Center, 3832 Mintwood St., Pittsburgh 15201. Detailed directions and parking information are on the contra site, http://pittsburghcontra.org/.   Our local contra group has always provides a warm to visiting dancers.  Admission $10.

David Millstone and Alchemy $10 separate admission.

Saturday Talk 10:30-12 a.m. 350 Years of Country Dance History, by David Millstone. What’s the relationship of English country dance to contras and squares? How did ballrooms adapt to changing dance preferences over the centuries? Who were the key individuals in the 20th century revivals that led to our dancing pleasure today? How did changes in music affect dancing style? David’s presentation will provide an overview of country dance history, augmented with audio clips that illustrate the changing sound of country dance over the centuries. This talk will be of interest to English country dancers as well as contra and square dance enthusiasts. Location: 1125 LaClair St., Pittsburgh PA 15218.

For info,  including financial aid, email morganjj@gmail.com.

To offer or request housing, email Cynthia Magistro at cynmagistro@gmail.com.

Early bird registration for $90 available until 3/15.

REGISTER ONLINE (payment may be made by credit card or check)


To print a paper registration form to mail in:








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