The Lawrence Barn Dance Assn. will host Pilgrim's Progression 2001 the weekend of Nov. 16-18. The seventh annual dance weekend will be held this year at Woodlawn School at 508 Elm St., just north of the river in Lawrence.
This year's events include dances, workshops, a concert and a potluck brunch. Music will be provided by old-time music duo Rob Nold and Joe Pickett, and The Groovemongers, from Rochester, N.Y., in their first Midwest appearance.
The Groovemongers' music has been called "World Beat Meets Contra" and their repertoire includes New England, Southern, Celtic, French-Canadian, Klezmer and ragtime, and original songs.
Dance events will feature contra dancing, square dancing and clogging. Guest caller, Kathy Anderson, from Cincinatti, Ohio, will call the figures for the dances and will conduct a half-day caller's workshop on the afternoon of Frida, Nov. 16.
According to Lisa Harris, spokesperson for the Lawrence Barn Dance Assn., last year's event was attended by dancers from Dallas, Austin, Chicago, St. Louis and from as far away as Washington, D.C. Participants are expected from far and wide once again.
"Contra dancing was New England's answer to square dancing," says Harris. She explains that in contra dancing the dancers assemble in a formation of two long lines, and the couples each dance with one other couple before continuing on down the formation.
Some of the figures called are familiar to square dancing and others are unique to contra. Other moves bear a resemblance to swing dancing movements. In fact, Harris describes contra as being "like a more aerobic form of swing dancing."
Harris describes the music of the Groovemongers as "punched up," playing a very contemporary style of contra music with appeal to dancers today. The music features more percussion than was once considered traditional.
According the Pilgrim's Progression Web site, "Kathy Anderson is a strong advocate of well-taught, clearly called dances, and her smooth vocal delivery and repertoire of quirky contras and high-energy squares make for a fun, sometimes zany and challenging dance experience."
The complete schedule for the dance weekend can be found at http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/blevy/lbdawknd.htm.
More information about the Groovemongers can be found at http://www.groovemongers.com/.
More information about Kathy Anderson can be found at http://www.fussell.org/bacds/bios/kathy_anderson.htm.