The Mid-Atlantic Norwegian Dancers’ 9th Annual


in charming Takoma Park, MD (by Washington, DC)

May Day Weekend, May 2-4, 2014

The Mid-Atlantic Norwegian Dancers (MAND) invite YOU to this annual celebration of Norwegian dance & music, plus various other Norwegian delights to tickle your fancy! 

You can attend all or part of the Spree, which runs from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. Everyone is welcome.  There’s always someone to chat with and something to nibble, whether or not you’re taking part in what’s scheduled.

EVENTS/ACTIVITIES:  Parties with mingling and dancing on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoon.  Delicious Sunday brunch potluck.  Saturday dance and music classes with stellar staff.  Hardanger embroidery class Friday afternoon, and again Saturday morning.  Saturday stitching circle, mustard (sennep) tasting ('twas a hit last year), jigsaw puzzle of a Norwegian scene, and an award-winning Scandinavian board game.  Plans are afoot for a sing-along.  Plus whatever else gets planned—would somebody like to come cook a favorite dish in a beautiful kitchen (with or without interested helpers), or teach a mini Norwegian language lesson, or display some photos or other materials, or--??  Let us know....

DANCING:  This year’s dance classes feature Hallingspringar, the springar from the Hallingdal region.  It's a fun dance which has been gaining popularity among US dancers.  While couples circulate around the floor, the men lead a standard sequence of figures (with variations and style options such as extra kicks); then the couples turn--first slowly and then faster--and there's an optional lift for consenting adults!  Of the "big three" most popular springar dances (Telespringar, Valdresspringar, and Hallingspringar), Hallingspringar seems the easiest to get into.  One reason is that the Hallingspringar 3-beat rhythm is more even, like waltz but more springy; the other two big springars have 3 unequal-duration beats, so dancing them isn't quite comfortable until newbies get that rhythm going in their bodies.  Also, Hallingspringar is a sequence dance; the dance figures (pieces) are done in a standard sequence. So, while there’s lots of room for embellishment and fine points, the learning threshold is low to "get in the game."  There will also be a short class on Setesdalgangar (gangar walking dance from Setesdal—an easy mixer dance with hot tunes).  Newbies, you'll be comfortable getting into both, plus some easy dances which can be picked up at the parties.  And during the harder dances it’s pleasant to either watch/listen or move around the floor doing the basic step to the music.  Do feel free to ask anyone to dance.

DANCE TEACHERS:  Hallingspringar will be taught by our Norwegian guests, Sigrunn Bæra Svenkerud and Bjørn Lien.  They have gotten rave reviews elsewhere, most recently in 2013 at Scandia Camp in Mendocino, CA.  And they are very nice people!  Here’s a great photo of them on either side of our friend Roo Lester.  Setesdalgangar will be taught/led in shorter sessions by expert American dancers Bruce Emery and Katherine Polk.

MUSIC:  The weekend will be saturated with fabulous all-live Hardanger fiddle music by two top US fiddlers:  Paul Morrissett and our own Loretta Kelley.  (What’s a Hardanger fiddle?  See www.HFAA.org.)  Dance parties will have a good variety of Norwegian Springars and Gammaldans...plus a little Swedish music for Hambo and other dances, if somebody lets those feisty nyckelharpas in again!

HARDANGER FIDDLERS AND WANNABES:  Classes/lessons for all levels are available.  Please contact us by April 15th (or later) for planning.  You can easily pop in & out of the dancing--fiddle jam/practice space is only a few steps away.

SINGING:  Plans are afoot for a sing-along of easy, familiar songs.  Please let us know if you’re interested and what you like/know.

HARDANGER EMBROIDERY:  This distinctive embroidery style involves fancy hand stitching, including some stitches where the fabric is pulled tight; then in the last (very careful!) step some of the fabric between the stitches is cut away for a beautiful lace-like effect.  It is used in certain costumes, as well as decorative table scarves and other items.  Expert local stitcher/teacher Fran Kilty will display items she's stitched, do a presentation about Hardanger embroidery including its history, and teach the same workshop on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.  She is assembling kits to make small hanging ornaments at the workshops; or you can buy a kit and do it yourself (includes extra patterns and resource list).  She will also have limited quantities of Hardanger material and special scissors for sale.  If you'd like to register for a workshop or request kit/material/scissors, please contact us beforehand, preferably by April 15.

STITCHING CIRCLE:  Bring your needlework to stitch and chat any time.  Especially on Saturday where there will be a designated space, plus there will be a fiber artist's exhibit in the building--see ArtHopTakoma.com.

LOCATIONS AND SCHEDULE:  Friday afternoon Hardanger embroidery workshop location TBD.  Friday evening party at Loretta and Tony’s lovely house in Takoma Park; dancing in their Great Room.  Saturday workshops/programs and evening dance at beautiful Seekers Church a few blocks away, across street from Metro station.  Sunday brunch potluck and afternoon dance party back at Loretta and Tony’s.

GENERAL INFO:  Beginners/listeners/watchers of all ages will be “welcomed, encouraged, and assimilated.”  Come experience the famous cozy atmosphere of our monthly Norwegian-style potluck house parties.  If you can, please bring something tasty to share at one or more events.  Please bring clean shoes for dancing; a wide low heel is best.  No need to bring a dance partner—we mix well—and if the gender balance is uneven some enjoy the challenge of “switching teams” so all can dance.  Attend all or part of the weekend.  No advance registration, except for fiddlers & embroiderers.  Comfortable suggested-donation pricing—more or less is fine--don’t let your budget keep you away.

OUT OF TOWNER INFO:  Venues are several blocks apart, close to Metro, and accessible from train or airport (DCA easiest, BWI OK).  Spare beds & crash space available.  And hey, it's a beautiful time of year to visit--Takoma Park is nicknamed "Azalea City."  Please share this email with your local dance group.

For lots more details, including addr/directions, detailed schedule, and suggested donations, please check back here soon.

CONTACT: Jenny, pi (at) xecu (dot) net, 3O13714312.

See you at the Spree??

(Publicity note:  If you’d like to help publicize by mentioning this event on a website, please, please check with us first for a very important detail in the wording.  Thanks!)