PLEASE NOTE!
Due to the March 23, 2020 NM DOH Public Health Order, These Event Listings Are Not Accurate!
All non-essential businesses are closed, public gatherings are prohibited!
(One day some of these events will be rescheduled or will resume, but they are not happening now!)

UNM Contra!

Friday May 1, 2015

1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131
US

Cost:

$4-$5

Contact:

Website: Click to Visit

More events at UNM SUB Ballrooms

NM FolkMADS presents contra dances and lessons, as well as music by the Virginia Creepers and a Beltane Morris performance.

See also: Culture Shock

Contra-ception

Dancers were contra-ctually obligated to have a blast at this UNM contra dance in October 2014. Pictured in foreground: FolkMADS VP Emily Ruch and UNM student Joe Hay.
Ben Werner

For those unacquainted with contra dance, consider it the 17th-century British precursor to the “Cupid Shuffle.” Generally, it involves group step-dancing to old-time fiddle-and-banjo tunes as a “caller” directs participants in synchronized movement. It’s “the sort of dancing you’d see in a Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice-type movie,” says Erik Erhardt, president of the New Mexico Folk Music and Dance Society (FolkMADS).

With a lineage winding from France to England, Nova Scotia down through the Appalachians and into the South, contra-culture picked up a bevy of influences before FolkMADS’ 1983 formation in Albuquerque. On Friday a three-hour lesson, hoedown and performance commemorating the pagan festival of May Day will take place at the UNM SUB (1 University of New Mexico, second-floor cafeteria, 7:30pm, $5/members $4/FREE for UNM students, staff and faculty with ID).

Those of the two-left-foot disposition need not be dissuaded. “If you can walk and hold hands, you can contra dance,” Erhardt says. The Virginia Creepers will provide old-time tunes, and Erhardt urges participants to show up on time to learn the calls and steps. If nothing else, make it over around 9pm for FolkMADS’ more-advanced Beltane Morris performance—a costumed whirlwind that unfolds like a gang of drunken Irish chimney sweeps frolicking at Burning Man. (Sam Adams)

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