Our American Contra Dance weeks are tremendously popular and often sell out so we encourage early booking for these courses. Our Spring 2021 event reunites Lisa Greenleaf (USA) and the inimitable Stringrays (USA) who were so popular when they last came to Halsway in 2015 and 2018! Hosted by Meg Winters, dance workshops take place each morning with fun optional outings and activities in the afternoons. There is usually a musicians’ workshop Wednesday tea-time, so bring instruments. Dances every evening, all in the lovely setting of Halsway Manor! Scroll down for draft programme.
“Friendly and welcoming group of people, plenty of laughs, energetic dancing and really enjoyable sessions in the bar afterwards!” Participant
Who’s it For?
Dancers of all levels of experience.
Meg Winters is a familiar face at Halsway Manor, and the perfect, friendly and knowledgeable host to make sure you get the best from your break at Halsway!
Lisa Greenleaf has been treating dancers across the USA to her high spirited, witty calling for many years, and is known for precise walk-throughs of zesty and flowing dances. Whether she is presenting cool contras, hot squares, or focused callers’ workshops, Lisa engages the crowd with her humor and community spirit.
Stringrays brings together an inimitable trio of musicians with a shared interest in playing and exploring great tunes. Between the fiddling of Rodney Miller, guitar playing of Max Newman, and bass/banjo playing of Stuart Kenney, their sound is playful and sublime, raucous and tender, modern and old-school. Finding constant inspiration in each other for lyrical improvising and interplay, each moment of performance is fresh, surprising, nuanced, and excellent….
Rodney Miller‘s fiddling commands the stage and the eardrums. He is well known as both a traditionalist and innovator, with a playful style and nuanced tone. He is widely considered to be the foremost exponent of New England style fiddling, a uniquely American blend of French Canadian and Celtic influences, although his exploratory style invites in quite a few surprises. Over the past 35 years, he has toured the US, British Isles, Australia and Denmark, performed and taught at hundreds of music and dance festivals, and recorded numerous albums, among them the acclaimed New England Chestnuts, Airplang, and Airdance albums.
Max Newman – the youngest of the group – has been surrounded by traditional music and dance from an early age. He’s spent a good portion of his life playing dances great and small across the continent, as well as accompanying Irish music. His guitar playing is refreshing, fun, and creative, and has allowed him to collaborate on-stage with a wide swath of traditional musicians. In addition to his work with Stringrays, he also performs with Nor’easter and co-organizes several events, including Youth Dance Weekend.
Stuart Kenney is the go-to man for bass thump and banjo twang! His long career in traditional music has included cutting his teeth with the legendary Dewey Balfa, and prodigious output with numerous groups and contra dance bands, including Airdance with Rodney and Undertoe with Karen Tweed. In addition to Stringrays, he plays with Quebecois band Tidal Wave and Celtic groove band The Sevens. His solo banjo album The Red Case has earned him numerous accolades.
4pm tea and coffee.
Afternoons free to explore area – provision made for those without cars.
4pm Tea and coffee.
Optional musicians’ workshop on the Wednesday, 4.30-6pm approx, so bring instruments if you play.
Depart after a big Halsway breakfast!