Creative and Spontaneous Contra
A workshop with Rick Szumski and Deborah Denenfeld
An Impromptu Glorious Chorus™
A vocal workshop / community sing with ELISE WITT
Elise leads a session of glorious group singing, teaching in a style so easy that, before you know it, the room is in perfect harmony! Drawing from her love of diverse melodies and rhythms, Elise may introduce a Brazilian samba, a Congolese story-song, an Italian round, or four-part harmonies from Zimbabwe. There are lots of songs in English, including songs from the African American tradition, quirky rounds, food songs, Bobby McFerrin style Circle Songs, Elise originals, and lots more! All of the songs are broken down into easily learnable parts and become thrilling to sing in a group. Whether you've sung all your life or think you "can't carry a tune in a bucket," in no time at all, you'll find yourself part of an Impromptu Glorious Chorus™.
Elise was born in Switzerland, raised in North Carolina, and since 1977 has made her home in Atlanta. She speaks five languages fluently, sings in over a dozen more, and has been a cultural ambassador to South Africa, Italy, Nicaragua, Switzerland, and China. A songwriter and composer, she tours the United States and the world with her Global, Local & Homemade Songs™. Her latest CD (We're All) BORN SINGING, is her 12th recording for EM World Records, and an album of her compositions have been arranged for choirs in the Elise Witt Choral Series. From 1980-2000, Elise sang with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus under the direction of Robert Shaw, and in recent years, she has studied extensively with masters of improvisation Bobby McFerrin, David Darling, and Rhiannon, African vocal expert Dr. Fred Onovwerosuoke, and Sweet Honey in the Rock's Dr. Ysaye Maria Barnwell, all of whose pedagogy she incorporates into her own teaching. She has earned a reputation as a masterful educator, encouraging even the shyest singers to revel in their voices. Her workshops and concerts use music as a language to celebrate our cultural diversity while appreciating our connections as one human family. Her concerts are famous for turning audiences (even self-professed "non-singers") into an Impromptu Glorious Chorus™.
Singers of all abilities, styles, and experience welcome.
Reading music is not required!
This workshop will provide opportunities for contra dancers to explore possibilities beyond what is actually written into the dances. Bring a creative and spontaneous attitude with you and discover what new things you are capable of to spice up your dancing. This session will be mostly just contra dancing and everyone is welcome to come and dance as usual if that is what you enjoy most, but do be prepared for
a bit of responsible playfulness going on around you. Laughter is optional, but highly recommended.
Rick Szumski is an active dancer & dance organizer from Ann Arbor, Michigan who has been dancing in various forms for decades. An engineer by profession, Rick enjoys the patterns, time, & spatial relationships between dancers and the various possibilities that presents for creativity and self-expression while contra dancing.
Deborah Denenfeld is passionate about dancing and the transformational effect it can have on dancers. She has been dancing various forms since her teens and leading dance for all ages and abilities for several decades. She is a Teaching Dance Artist in the Schools and founded Dancing Well: The Soldier Project, which brings dance to veterans with PTSD or brain injury. Deborah is based in Louisville, but loves to gypsy around.
In this participatory workshop, we'll take a standard old-time tune and brighten it with different chord structures and melodic variations. Then, guided by participant interest, we'll discuss other tune crafting techniques to make dancers' feet happy! All instruments and levels welcome.
Designed to address the specific interests of the musicians at hand, the StringRays will share secrets to creating music that will delight the dancers, callers, and musicians themselves. Bring your instruments, questions, ideas and lots of creative energy. This is a workshop musicians will not want to miss!
New Ways with Old Time
A Workshop with Turnip the Beet
Some Secrets to Fun Dance Music
A workshop with The StringRays
Discuss calling challenges and techniques that work well over lunch Saturday with Will Mentor. Catered lunch is available for this workshop if you order by 11/1/2015.
Callers' Lunch with Will Mentor
Callers try out walking dancers through a dance that is new to them or proving challenging to teach, then get feedback on wording, clarity, etc. from attendees. Dancers welcome to participate in walk-throughs but there will be no dancing.
Just Walkthroughs with Will Mentor
Survival Yoga for Dancers
Rejuvenate your body and increase your awareness of subtle movements with this gentle, yet energizing, yoga experience. Dance with your breath as you flow in the ancient traditions of Tai Chi. Allow yoga to playfully lead you in the exploration of your body's natural intelligence.
Mats will be available on a first-come-first-served basis, but we are grateful when dancers who have mats can bring their own.