July 27-August 3, 2019 // Plymouth, MA
Familiar paths, innovative repertoire
Join us for a wonderful week of English dance, music, and song! Experience the tremendous vitality of English country and display dances, stirring tunes, and rousing English songs, all with world-class teachers and superb musicians, in the magical setting of Pinewoods Camp.
During the day, challenge yourself by choosing something new – or relax and enjoy the familiar – from a packed schedule of classes. Evening dances will include a wide range of English country dances accessible to all, with exhilarating music from our extraordinary staff of musicians.
All ye who revel in all of these traditions! English Week is where we greet old friends and make new ones, tread familiar paths and plunge into uncharted territory, revel in classic, beloved, and innovative repertoire, and learn new skills to take back to our own communities. Please join us!
~Alex Cumming, Program Director
- Kate Barnes
- Emma Conroy
- Doug Creighton
- Alice Cumming
- Jan Elliott
- Lisa Greenleaf
- Robin Hayden*
- Dave Langford
- Aaron Marcus
- Amelia Mason
- Naomi Morse
- Miriam Newman
- Matt Norman
- Guillaume Sparrow-Pepin
- Andrew Swaine
- Jonathan Werk
* Program Advisors, plus:
A quiet session before breakfast for anyone to come for an early practice. Experienced practitioners are welcome to follow their own flow, while anyone needing assistance can follow the simple warm-up, awakening routine I will demonstrate. This will be an opportunity to prepare your body for the day of spritely dancing!
Advanced ECD: The Dancing Master 1651-1728 – Andrew Swaine
Music by: Aaron Marcus, Naomi Morse, Jonathan Werk: A ground-up look at the dances and style of dancing of the Dancing Master, with a focus of different ways to dance them that take advantage of recent research, new interpretations of many familiar dances, a look at dance forms that are often overlooked today, how the style of dancing varied over the years of the Dancing Master, and asking how we would like to dance these dances today.
ECD for All: Harmony in Motion – Robin Hayden
Music by: Guillaume Sparrow-Pepin, Dave Langford: Throughout the week, while dancing some of the loveliest and liveliest dances in the classic and contemporary English country repertoire, we’ll look at techniques for understanding and improving the way we move and thus the way we express ourselves within this idiom, individually, as partners, and as a set. The program, while accessible to newer dancers, will offer distinct and satisfying challenges to any lifelong learner.
Dartmoor Step – Trad Class – Matt Norman
Music by: Doug Creighton: The period 1 class will take a look at some of the basic and more advanced steps of traditional Dartmoor stepdance, a little known member of the English percussive dance family. It is characterised by its unusual steps and form, and particularly the very small board on which it is performed. With no set routine this tradition is a vocabulary of steps which individual dancers can combine and embellish in their own way. Matt Norman has been Dartmoor Stepdance champion several times and is one of a very small number of people who can teach this tradition. He has a relaxed and clear teaching style making sure that all levels are included and having fun.
ECD – Open Mic – Robin Hayden
Music by: Kate Barnes, Amelia Mason, Dave Langford: Callers and dancers are all welcome to play their part in this network of mutual support for dance leaders of all levels of experience, including anyone wishing to step up to the mic for the first time. Our focus will be on striving for a satisfying experience for all — success for the caller, comfort for the musicians, joy for the dancers, and pride among assembled leaders at each other’s accomplishments and growth. This is decidedly not a forum for trying out challenging or new-to-you-and-us repertoire: we will instead work towards the best possible presentation of dances we know well. Callers will receive structured feedback in a supportive environment.
ECD for All: Non-Playford Playford – Andrew Swaine
Music by: Aaron Marcus, Jonathan Werk: A tour through 17th and early 18th century historical dances contemporary with the Dancing Master. Taken from English manuscripts by law students and other, French manuscripts to the King and subsequent publications, and others. See how the styles of other sources of early country dances compare with those of the Dancing Master, and how the same dances found in multiple sources are (almost) never actually the same!
Dartmoor Step – Creative – Matt Norman
Music by: Doug Creighton: The period 2 class will learn the basic steps of the Dartmoor stepdance tradition on Sunday and Monday. For the rest of the week we will experiment with them in new, creative, and different ways. Dartmoor stepdance is a little known member of the English percussive dance family. It is characterised by its unusual steps and form, and particularly the very small board on which it is performed. With no set routine this tradition is a vocabulary of steps which individual dancers can combine and embellish in their own way. Matt Norman has been Dartmoor Stepdance champion several times and is one of a very small number of people who can teach this tradition. He has a relaxed and clear teaching style making sure that all levels are included and having fun.
Gathering – Lisa Greenleaf
Advanced ECD – Miriam Newman
Music by: Guillaume Sparrow-Pepin, Jonathan Werk: We’ll focus on dances that demand precision but, when they work, fit together just so — in the most satisfying ways. All dances will be taught gender-role-free (using positional calling) and you may be asked to think about familiar dances in unfamiliar ways.
ECD for All: Andrew’s Pot Pourri – Andrew Swaine
Music by: Kate Barnes, Naomi Morse: Dances carefully chosen for their fun, interest, variety, and occasionally their ability to stretch the definition of country dancing!
Rapper – Alice Cumming & Jan Elliott
Music by: Alex Cumming & Amelia Mason: “Goooooood people give ear to my story”. Rapper dancing is an exciting, athletic, and pub based sword dance traditional from the North East of England which has become an international sensation! The week will start as one large class, delving into some of our favorite figures before splitting into two classes, a creative track and a learning-a-dance track. Between this year’s rapper staff and musicians we have DERT champions, DART champions, traditional dancers, figure creators and some proper sword geeks! Come join us for a fun week of Rapper Sword dance classes.
Harmony Singing – Matt Norman
From rousing shanties to beautiful love songs this session will explore English folk song in all its richness. Matt’s approach to singing is relaxed and fun, while still getting a great sound from the singers. It’s not necessary to be able to read music or be an experienced singer.
The New Language of Contras – Lisa Greenleaf
Music by: Guillaume Sparrow-Pepin, Amelia Mason, Naomi Morse: There’s a new and exciting landscape of contra dancing, with inventive figures as well as new options for role terminology. We will explore the evolution of language and choreography, and enjoy stylish dancing and a few exciting squares along the way. Thoughtful discussion outside of class is encouraged!
ECD for All – Miriam Newman
Music by: Aaron Marcus, Doug Creighton: We’ll do a variety of interesting but accessible dances, mostly modern compositions. No real brain-teasers, but we’ll do a mix of relatively straightforward dances and somewhat more challenging ones with plenty of teaching. All dances will be taught gender-role-free (using positional calling).
Border/Cotswold Morris – Alex Cumming, Guests
Join Alex and a host of guests as we explore the broad world of English Morris. We will take a look at some of the key traditions that may include the beautiful flowing dances of Cotswold, the mysterious moves of Molly, the brisk and bold dances of Border and the ranting and floral excitement of North West. After getting a taste of some exciting dances from across the Morris world, we spend the end of the week creating our own English Week tradition and dance(s) influenced from the old traditions.
Musicians Workshop – Kate Barnes
This workshop will focus on the skills and pitfalls of playing for ECD dancing in an ensemble setting. We’ll cover arranging, harmony, improvisation, phrasing and soloing. Not too much talking and a lot of time playing! The ability to sight read on at least a rudimentary level would be helpful; some fine pieces to work with over the week will be provided.
Longsword for All – Jan Elliott
Music by: Dave Langford: Hailing from Yorkshire and surrounding areas, Longsword is the straighter and longer cousin of Rapper. Traditionally, Longsword was often performed as part of folk/mummers plays around certain holidays including Christmas, St George’s Day and Easter, but these days it stands as a full tradition in its own right. Join us as we explore some of the great modern and traditional dances and figures that make this thriving tradition so enthralling.
The Porch Sing – Alex Cumming, Friends
Do you have a song you just can’t wait to sing? A chorus song you love hearing harmonies to? An old gem that you would love to bring back? Or do you just want to sit back and be entertained? Then come along to an informal sing on the porch. Each day will feature a different theme including Death & Destruction, Love, Lust & Loveliness, Booze & Bemusement, and more. Open to all singers, hair brush divas, part time yodelers and those who want to listen.
Afternoon Yoga for All – Emma Conroy
After your lively day, before dinner, spend an hour stretching out the kinks that come with a day of dancing. This session will offer longer holds for deeper stretches, with energizing poses thrown in to get you ready for the evening activities.