The Mid-Atlantic Norwegian Dancers’ 9th Annual
SPRING SPRINGAR SPREE
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: Dance parties Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon. Sunday brunch potluck. Dance and music classes with stellar staff all 3 days. Hardanger embroidery class Friday afternoon and again Saturday morning. Saturday Hardanger embroidery program, stitching circle, mustard (sennep) tasting ('twas a hit last year), jigsaw puzzle of a Norwegian scene, and an award-winning Scandinavian board game. Plus whatever else gets planned—would somebody like to volunteer to cook a favorite dish in the nice church 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 they're not quite comfortable to dance until you internalize the rhythms. Also, the Hallingspringar 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, who have gotten rave reviews
elsewhere, most recently in 2013 at Scandia Camp in Mendocino, CA. Both Class A dancers, they are known for their beautiful dancing, warmth, and clear teaching style. Here’s a great photo of them on either side of our friend Roo Lester. Setesdalgangar will be taught/led in shorter sessions by our friends, expert American dancers Bruce Emery and Katherine Polk. Bruce has been researching some new source material and will have some new moves/flourishes to share.
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 as early as you can for planning. Note that you can easily pop in & out of the dancing--fiddle jam/practice space is only a few steps away.
HARDANGER EMBROIDERY: This distinctive embroidery style involves fancy hand stitching, including
some stitches where the fabric is pulled tight; then in the last step some of the fabric between the stitches is very carefully 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 program about Hardanger embroidery including its history and use in costumes, and teach the same 3-hour workshop on both Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. She is assembling kits to make small hanging
ornaments at the workshops; or you can buy an extra kit to do it yourself (includes extra patterns and resource list). She will also have a small amount of supplies for sale. Workshop space and extra kits are limited, so get your reservation in to Jenny ASAP.
STITCHING CIRCLE: Bring your needlework to stitch and chat anytime, anywhere. (Folks often do so at another dance/music weekend in VT; it's fun to see who's working on what.) It's a little crowded for sewing machines this year with the art exhibit going on, but after 2 in the meeting room is good.
ART HOP TAKOMA: Saturday 10-6 we are sharing the church with a fiber artist's exhibit in the foyer/Gallery/hallway downstairs. About 50 locations in Takoma Park will have art displayed, and they're running shuttle buses around. See ArtHopTakoma.com.
SECURITY: With others in the building downstairs Sat 10-6 this year, we'll need to keep an eye on things a bit. Where to park your bags/instruments? Upstairs is best, but please not underfoot in the tables/chairs areas where folks sit/mingle--instead please put things in the dance space--under chairs/benches and in corners. Or stash things in the meeting room downstairs (where the embroidery workshop is), but they may be distracted and we'll only have people in there continuously until about 4pm. Yes, some of us will be in the building all day/evening so you can confidently leave things in the dance space if you go out for lunch/dinner.
DOOR CODE: Seekers Church keeps doors locked. There's a keypad code for our group to use to get in. Obviously we can't put it here or post it at the door. It will be sent to our email list a day or two beforehand. You can get the code at Loretta & Tony's on Friday night. If you'll be arriving a little before the 9am start time, someone will let you in at the street door, and the welcome desk will have the code so you can get back in later yourself. If you won't get it these ways, ask Jenny beforehand. Calling from outside or banging on the door would be frustrating for you and disruptive to events, so please plan ahead--thanks!
FOOD: Light snacks & coffee/tea/water/lemonade will be provided on Saturday at the church. Your CONTRIBUTIONS OF SNACKS OR PARTY FOOD ARE QUITE WELCOME AT ALL SPREE EVENTS--THANKS!! For Saturday lunch & dinner, you might like to bring your meal from home or visit one of Takoma Park’s great eateries—there will be a list of recommendations at the welcome table. Consider carryout or delivery—it’s quite pleasant to relax and eat at Seekers. Those attending the Hardanger embroidery presentation at lunchtime on Saturday are welcome to eat during the presentation, and might want to bring lunch from home or buy it locally (maybe place an order in the morning for pickup at lunchtime); or there's time to eat out if it's fast. Then there’s Sunday brunch—another potluck in MAND’s thriving tradition of tasty dishes and good company! Locals, please bring a little more food than usual if you can, so staff and out-of-towners don't have to. Thanks.
MUSTARD (SENNEP) TASTING: In the church kitchen, off & on on Saturday. And if requested on Sunday. This weekend the World Wide Mustard Competition champs are honored at the Mustard Museum in WI (mustardmuseum.com), which many of us have enjoyed visiting on the way to/from events at Folklore Village. And mustard is good for us dancers--it's anti-inflammatory and a mild muscle relaxant. And it's fun! Jenny is bringing 42 little yellow friends, from an assortment of Dijons to weird ones such as honey garlic, blue cheese, garam masala, and...chocolate!
WHAT TO WEAR/BRING: Clean dance shoes to change into--wide low heel is best, with leather/smooth sole for turning—really, please clean/check them to protect the floors. Comfortable clothing, with extra shirts if you plan to work up a good springar-sweat. Floral patterns would be nice for our Spring theme, if you like. Nice outfit or Scandinavian costume for Saturday night. Food—see above. Mug w/name on it and toothbrush/paste are nice ideas. WHAT NOT TO BRING: Drugs, pets, weapons, etc. (Yes, we have a special dispensation for Paul's Norwegian belt knife.) WHAT'S OPTIONAL TO BRING: A partner--we mix, and some of us even change gender to keep the balance and enjoy the dances from a different perspective.
OUT-OF-TOWNERS: It's a beautiful time of year to
visit--Takoma Park is nicknamed "Azalea City." Our two main locations are close to the Takoma Park Metro station (on the red line), so they're accessible via public transportation from
train, bus, and all 3 airports; Metro even has a stop at Reagan National (DCA) so it's easiest. Of course there are
plenty of hotels in the DC area. And, like other folkie communities, MAND
has a tradition of offering spare beds & crash space to out-of-town
visitors--if interested please contact Jenny ASAP. You can probably get by without a car--see location info below.
SCHEDULE: You’re welcome to attend all or part of the weekend. When not participating in a scheduled event, there’s always someone to chat with and something to nibble.
Fri 5/2 daytime
Fri 5/2 evening at Loretta &
Sat 5/3 all at Seekers Church--dancing upstairs,
Sun 5/4 at Loretta & Tony's
Hardanger fiddle lessons/classes: location & time TBD, res req'd; contact Loretta or Jenny
Friday afternoon: Hardanger embroidery workshop at a participant’s
house; res req'd
evening: at Loretta & Tony’s, 6807
Westmoreland Ave., Takoma Park, MD 20912. Party in the Great Room, fiddlers can jam elsewhere in house. See Directions page.
Saturday: at Seekers Church, 276 Carroll St., NW, Washington, DC 20012. Note that Seekers Church doesn't look like a church at all—it’s a 2-story red brick storefront building with white trim. It's just over the line from Takoma Park into DC, diagonally across Carroll from the Takoma Park Metro station (on the Red line), and directly across from a 7-11. Park on nearby streets or in Metro station lot (free on weekends); please leave the tiny lot behind Seekers for staff/loading/handicapped. Or take Metro!
Sunday: back at Loretta & Tony's
Phone numbers just in case you get lost or whatever: Loretta & Tony’s house 3O1~270~4925, Jenny’s cell 24O~344~OO66.
Hardanger embroidery workshop $20, kit $10; res req’d
Hardanger fiddle lessons/classes: contact Loretta, res req’d
Everything else: res not req’d, and prices are suggested donations:
Fri 5/2: Setesdalgangar
dance class $7
Feel free to contribute more or less than the suggested donations. Really. If you have deep pockets and would like to do a little more than your share so we can be generous to our excellent staff, that’s wonderful! Or, if money's tight, just pay what you can—don't let your budget keep you away--we want you to be there!
CHECK BACK HERE for updates and breaking news....
CONTACT: Jenny, pi (at) xecu (dot) net, H3O13714312, C24O344OO66.
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!)
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