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David Smukler with David Millstone
Cracking Chestnuts: The Living Tradition of American Contra Dances CDSS45
Cracking Chestnuts: The Living Tradition of American Contra Dances
"Cracking Chestnuts" was a column that grew out of an exciting gathering in Syracuse, NY in March of 2004, when a group of interested callers spent a day together looking at some favorite contra chestnuts. The column ran in the CDSS News, newsletter of the Country Dance and Song Society. It first appeared in the July/August 2004 issue with a look at the dance Devil's Dream, and ended with an article about Chorus Jig in the May/June 2007 issue.

The column was my attempt to take a fresh look at some of my favorite old dances. The content was meant to be more accessible than scholarly. I tried to present each dance in a way that told the reader something about its character, and sensitized readers to details about dance that were important to me. I also tried to have a bit of fun as I wrote.

For a few years, copies of the columns were available here. In mid-November, 2008, I took them down. The book, Cracking Chestnuts: The Living Tradition of American Contra Dances, is now available from CDSS. The book includes all the columns, which have been polished a bit for publication, as well as additional pieces from David Millstone, appropriate tunes for all the dances, and an appendix of twenty more chestnuts.

Price: € 28.00

Philippe Callens
Keep On Swinging - booklet (German/English) AADS 9208CDBKD
Keep On Swinging - booklet (German/English)
A Collection of 24 New England style dances, Philippe Callens, 1992. The booklet is a collection of 24 American dances in New England style, divided in four sections (circles, squares, contras, triplets). The CD is a collection of 12 New England style medleys all suitable for dancing.

CD - € 17.00.

Set (Book & CD) - € 21.00

Book English/Dutch - € 8.00

Price: € 8.00

Patri Pugliese
Dances for The Civil War Ballroom B 289
Dances for The Civil War Ballroom
A Manual of Dance Instruction to accompany "The Civil War Ballroom recording" by Spare Parts.

This pocket manual supplies instructions for all the dances on The Civil War Ballroom recording by Spare Parts, also the dance music in The Civil War Ballroom Band Book.

Included are the most fashionable mid-nineteenth-century dances:
waltz, polka, schottische, polka redowa, galop, Grand March, Soldier’s Joy, Gothic Dance, Spanish Dance, La Têmpete, The Lancers Quadrilles (figures 1, 3, and 5), and the Virginia Reel. It provides detailed explanations, plus abbreviated calls for the set dances.

To help recreate a Victorian ball, the manual also includes "Etiquette of the Ballroom" and "A Note on Ballroom Refreshments."

Patri Pugliese was a dance historian and teacher who drafted these instructions to help reenactors and people of all ages recreate a midcentury Victorian ball. The project was interrupted by Patri Pugliese's untimely death in February of 2007. With Barbara Pugliese's approval, Liz Stell and Bill Matthiesen have undertaken to format and publish this volume in the style of the mid-nineteenth century dance manuals that served as Patri's sources.

Small hardbound volume (4.5" x 6.75"); 110 pages with period illustrations.

Etiquette of the Ballroom

The Dances:
The Grand March
The Waltz
Soldier's Joy
The Polka
The Lancers Quadrilles (figures 1, 3, and 5)
The Galop
La Tempête
The Polka Redowa
The Schottische
The Gothic Dance
Redowa Waltz
Virginia Reel
Spanish Dance

Ballroom Refreshments
Select Bibliography
Contact Information About the Authors

Musicbook - € 20.00

CD - € 14.00

Price: € 15.00

Tony Parkes
Contra Dance Calling: A Basic Text - Second Edition B 300
Contra Dance Calling: A Basic Text - Second Edition
This is the first comprehensive entry-level book ever written on contra dance calling, newly revised and updated for the Internet age. Every aspect of the caller's work is dealt with clearly and thoroughly, including: how to get started as a caller; music as it relates to the dance; timing and phrasing; voice technique; fitting the calls to the music; dance notation; teaching and walkthroughs; choosing material; calling for special groups; working with live or recorded music; buying and using a sound system; and running a dance series. In addition, the book includes: an in-depth discussion of the basic movements; a selection of easy-to-call dances; a complete glossary of terms; an extensive list of resources; and information on how to use other dance books. In short, this is your guide to the entire world of contra dance calling, teaching, and organizing.

2010, 300 pages, quality paperbound, acid-free paper

Table of Contents
Part One: The Theory and Practice of Calling
1: Getting Started (Read the First Chapter)
2: What Is a Contra Dance? (a little history, the basic formation, the contra progression, neutral couples and the change of roles)
3: Music – the Cornerstone (tune structure, rhythm, timing, phrasing)
4: Delivering the Calls (voice technique, fitting words to music, opening and ending calls, diminishing calls, notation systems)
5: Teaching and Walkthroughs (teaching dance style, walkthroughs, classes vs. parties, demonstrations, teaching tips)
6: Choosing Your Material (programming a guest set, an evening, a series; pacing; selecting material; writing new dances)
7: Working with Music (tune types and flavors, working with musicians, working with recordings)
8: Sound Equipment (choosing & using amplifiers, microphones, speakers)
9: Calling for Special Groups (children, adolescents, older adults, same-sex & gender-free, using contras with modern square dancers)
10: Reaching Your Community (the schools, adult education, one-night stands, community & family dances)

Part Two: Basic Moves and Dance Routines
11: Before the Basics (etiquette and how to move)
12: The Basic Moves for Two People (do-si-do, gypsy, hand turn, swing, promenade, balance, & twirl to swap, all discussed in depth)
13: The Basic Moves for More than Two People (eleven more basics, with teaching techniques, variations, transitions, & timing)
14: Circle Dances (two big circle mixers and two progressive circles, with call charts)
15: Whole-Set Dances (three easy longways dances, including the Virginia Reel, with call charts)
16: Contra Dances (seven contras in order of difficulty, from Jefferson's Reel to Chorus Jig, with call charts)
17: Yes, We Do Squares Too (general discussion of New England squares, plus four figures and four sample breaks)

Resources (dance and tune titles, books, recordings, videos, software, organizations, retailers, events, mailing lists, websites)

Price: € 23.50

Axel Röhrborn
Ornamenttanz - Ein Beitrag zur Gesundheitsförderung B 5333
Ornamenttanz - Ein Beitrag zur Gesundheitsförderung
Book is written in German.
This booklet has the roots in folk, country and contra dance. The dances are new and modern created 'Ornament Dances' for trainings and workshops as part of public Health.

Price: € 9.95

Kate van Winkle Keller and George A. Fogg
Contra Dances from New Hampshire, 1783 B 7777
Contra Dances from New Hampshire, 1783
Contra Dances from New Hampshire 1783 by Kate van Winkle Keller and George A. Fogg (October 2012) is the latest from The Colonial Music Institute press. This book is an interpretation of the fifty-five dances written down by one Clement Weeks, a 33-year-old schoolteacher in Greenland, New Hampshire. In February 1783, just a few months before the Treaty of Paris would end the Revolutionary War, Weeks began writing out “Figures for Contra Dances,” thirty-five of them, the authors point out, “from a collection from a friend named Smith” and another twenty chosen by Weeks himself. Keller and Fogg, both expert dance historians, interpreted each set of dance figures and, using the titles in the Weeks manuscript, located the music intended for them. Thus, each dance, is written out in modern notation and coupled with its facsimile from Weeks’ manuscript. Facsimiles are provided for most of the tunes as well. That plus the front matter, comprising a history of Weeks and his manuscript and an explanation of “Contra Vs Country,” plus the back matter (“Formation,” glossary, and bibliography), makes for a book packed with information – and not just for dancers, either.

For those of us with an interest in Ancient history, the Contra Dances from New Hampshire demonstrates how easily dance music could become march music. At this time, both fifers and dancers required uncluttered music with two strong pulsations per measure in order to know which foot should be where at each musical measure. These indications of foot placement were just as important to soldiers marching in formation as they were to the ladies and gentlemen footing it on the dance floor, proven by the fact that about half of Weeks’ dance music is also found in the manuscript march collections kept by fifers in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Price: € 18.00

Tony Parkes
Son of Shadrack and other dances B 4830
Son of Shadrack and other dances
Here are 42 more square, circle, and contra dances, ranging from very easy to fairly difficult. Some are variations on older routines, Tony's and other callers', that have been fine-tuned for smoother dancing. Others are completely new. Every dance has been tested with real people.

Dancers and callers who enjoyed Tony's first collection, Shadrack's Delight and Other Dances, are sure to find many new favorites here.

Like the first volume, this book includes complete explanations, teaching tips, history, and a glossary of terms.

Price: € 8.00

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