An English Country Dance Weekend April 5-7 2019, Pittsburgh PA

Gene Murrow and Goldcrest

Gene Murrow Gene Murrow has been an English country dancer and musician since 1965 and has taught and called since 1988 at clubs, workshops, festivals and balls throughout the world. As a dance musician he performs on recorders and concertina, has made four CD recordings for dances of Fried Herman and Gary Roodman, and is the producer of the Boston Center English dance recordings featuring Bare Necessities.

Goldcrest Three seasoned musicians of national reputation and steeped in the folk dance traditions of Appalachia, New England, and the British Isles come together to form the band.  Goldcrest features fiddler Daron Douglas, pianist Dave Wiesler, and multi-instrumentalist Paul Oorts in a trio producing country dance music of exceptional quality and unsurpassed variety.  Their individual and group compositions are the music for many of our favorite dances.  See http://www.pauloorts.com/ensembles/goldcrest for samples.

English Workshops and Dances: Saturday: Dance Workshop 2-5; Dance Party 8-11.   Sunday: Open Waltzing 9:45-1030;  Dance Workshops 10:30-12:30 and 1:30-3:30.  See workshop descriptions below.

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

Extras: Friday Contra at 8-11 p.m. at the Bulgarian Macedonian Center, 451 W. 8th Ave, West Homestead, PA, 15210. Gaye Fifer and Goldcrest $10 separate admission. Saturday Musicians Workshop with Goldcrest $10 10:30-12 a.m. 1125 LaClair Street, Pittsburgh PA 15218.

For info, and financial aid requests, email morganjj@gmail.com, and check CDSSP.org for updates.  To offer or request housing, email Chris Josephs at  chrisjosephs25@gmail.com

Register by 3/15 for Earlybird special rate of $90.  Use our online registration system and pay by credit card or check at

Or print out this attached Registration Form and mail it by 3/15 for the Earlybird rate.

Workshop Descriptions

Saturday 2-5 “She Favorites” – Brilliant new dances by American women

There has been a blossoming of talent among women across the United States who have been enjoying English country dancing for many years and have begun creating their own work. Their dances embody the best of the English tradition combined with the American penchant for flowing movement, partner interaction, and music uniquely suited to the dance. We’ll enjoy dances that are challenging and simple, lively and stately, by Jenny Beer, Beverly Francis, Sharon Green, Loretta Holz, Susan Kevra, Kalia Kliban, Orly Krasner, Christine Robb, and Jenna Simpson.

Sunday 10-12:30 and 1:30-3:30 “Music Made Visible – How the Varied Sources, Styles, and Structure of English Country Dance Music Informs Movement”

 George Balanchine, among others including Imogen Holst, noted that “dance is music made visible.”  The music of England’s social/folk dance tradition is unusual in its embrace of a wide variety of musical forms and styles.  Considering rhythmic structure alone, these include “duple” meter jigs, reels, hornpipes and marches; “triple” meter minuets, waltzes of several varieties, and slip jigs; and some eccentric forms that are “none of the above.”  Sources and styles include Renaissance dance music, baroque theater music, classical-era sonatas, traditional songs, modern waltzes, and much more.  We’ll explore how the best choreographers have incorporated these disparate elements in unique ways to make each visible and to enthrall the dancers.

Session 1:         DUPLE METERS (reels, jigs, rants, hornpipes. airs, marches, cakewalks, rags, tangos!)

Steps: “running step,” dance-walk, skip, skip-change, step-hop, buzz step, gallop/slipping, stationary rant, traveling rant, swing dance-walk

Session 2:         TRIPLE METERS (17th-century hornpipes, slip jigs, waltzes, minuets, “none

of the above”)

Steps: triple dance-walk, country-dance waltz


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