FALL WEEKEND: THE STAMPEDE IS ON!


By the Cowmittee.
Wholly Cow! It's the BACDS Fall Weekend dance camp!


Monte Toyon Camp, Aptos
October 15-17, 1999
Cost: $161

Get ready for the Fall Dance Weekend, where once again we've rounded up some of the finest talent in the Milky Way to bring you an udderly dazzling program of English cowntry dances, cowntras, fast-mooving squares, moorris dancing, cowpull dancing, cowlers' and moosicians' workshops, and much mooore!

Every year Fall Weekend chooses a different theme. This year the theme is --perhaps you've guessed it -- cows. Cattle. Bovines. Big spotted black and white mooing beasts. But even the lactose-intolerant will enjoy this camp.

Our staff roster includes several returning camp favorites and introduces a Midwest favorite to the Bay Area. All our staff are outstanding in their fields.

Lisa Greenleaf of Massachusetts enchanted Bay Area dancers with her contras and squares at the first Sierra Swing in 1995. A favorite at NEFFA and Pinewoods, she has herded contradance tours through England and Denmark. Besides calling lots of contras and squares at Fall Weekend, Lisa will also teach workshops in Northwest (clog) Morris and a session on unusual couple dances, including a tango mixer and novelty waltz dances. Lisa's calling and teaching are clear, lively, and exuberant.

Jacqueline Schwab of Massachusetts will lead and play for English country dances. We don't know if we're allowed to call anyone younger than 80 "a national treasure," but if we are, she is. An amazing and frequently recorded pianist who has received international exposure for her soundtrack work on _The Civil War_ and _Baseball_, her research has brought us such favorite dances as "Sally in Our Alley" and "Barbarini's Tambourine." She's been a hit at English Week and Spring Weekend, and we're lucky to have her and her cohorts Earl Gaddis and Mary Lea from Bare Necessities, considered by many the best English country dance band in the world.

Jan Elliott, last seen in these parts at Spring Weekend a few too many years ago, is a ritual-dance scholar and leader. Her current teams are the (Martha's) Vineyard Swordfish and Woods Hole Village Morris. The Vineyard Swordfish, under her direction, dance a variety of longsword and rapper traditions, and put on a great show. Jan will teach material brand-new to this area: the sprightly Helmsley longsword dance and the constructed Cotswold tradition of Bloxham.

In his first Bay Area appearance, Wisconsin's Roger Diggle will lead contras, squares and singing, whistle and play guitar for dancing, and conduct a callers' workshop on "The Art of the Walk-Through." He's called at camps and festivals in many states. Our programmer, who had formerly known Roger only through his dance compositions such as "Roll in the Hey", finally danced to him at Augusta Dance Week in West Virginia last year and knew he had to corral Roger for Fall Weekend.

In addition to playing with Jacqueline, Earl, and other staff members, Mary Lea will lead a band workshop, one of her specialties. Mary is a much-recorded fiddler in many genres; her repertoire includes English, contra, ragtime, and sensuous tangos are among her repertoire. Don't be cowed by her awesome talent; her band workshops are very beginner-friendly.

Earl Gaddis has been playing fiddle and viola for English, Scottish, American, and international dancing for more than 30 years. At camp he will play for longsword as well as English. He's an inventive and adventurous player whose music you'll remember forheifer.

The Contrabandits (Kathrine Gardner, Kit Nelson, Charlie Hancock, Chris Knepper) wowed us at the 1997 Fall Weekend, and are a favorite Bay Area American band. Their driving music, their witty arrangements, and their eclectic repertoire will steer you to enjoyment on the floor.

Craig Johnson's musical talents span every dance genre BACDS offers, and extend beyond to Irish and Gregorian chant. (He's also wrangled the BACDS Board as President for many years.) This time he'll be playing accordion for Northwest Morris and Cotswold, and we may see him behind the accordion or the piano at evening dances.

A successful innovation from 1998's Fall Weekend was the camper musician Waltz Jam. Campers - led by a staff member - play waltzes; camper dancers dance to them. Bliss for all.

As usual, the program offers workshops during the day on Saturday & Sunday, with all-camp dance parties on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons. After Friday and Saturday night dances campers instigate a variety of unofficial after-hours activities and camper-called dances. This is a great chance to try out kinds of dancing you may not have experienced before; you don't need to be an expert to enjoy camp. (Nobody will force you to morris dance or play accordion if you don't want to.)

As you read this in August, thinking about dance camp in October may seem like long-range planning, but the stampede is already on and camp is filling fast! (As we write in July, the camp is already two-thirds full, but all applications postmarked by 8 September will be eligible for the lottery. Note to men: You too need to register by 8 September for a chance in the lottery.)

You can register on-line at the Fall Dance Weekend web page (although you still have to send the moolah by snail mail). Or, if you can't find a registration form at your local dance, or have any questions, you can call Vanessa Schnatmeier or Alan Winston at 650-365-2913 and get a copy mailed to you.

Now that we've milked this cow thing for all it's worth, we hope this article hasn't passed your eyes in vain, and that you'll hoof it on over to Fall Weekend at Moonte Toyon.


Page maintained by Alan Winston

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