KINGSTON — The Kingston Community Library is presenting “Contra Dancing in New Hampshire: Then and Now,” a special event celebrating the New Hampshire Humanities Council’s 40th anniversary year, on Thurs., November 6.
Since the late 1600s, the lively tradition of contra dancing has kept people of all ages swinging and sashaying in barns, town halls and schools around the state. Contra dancing came to New Hampshire by way of the English colonists and remains popular in many communities.
The program features Dudley Laufman, who will bring this tradition to life with stories, poems and recordings of callers, musicians, and dancers, past and present. Live music, always integral to this dance form, will be played on the fiddle and melodeon.
Laufman first fiddled and called dances sixty-five years ago in a kitchen on a cattle farm in Fremont, and from there his love of music and contra dancing has blossomed. He has won the highest honor for traditional artists, the National Folk Art Award and a National Heritage Fellowship, as well as the New Hampshire Governor’s Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement.
This lecture, along with demonstration, and audience participation will be at the Swazey Gymnasium, 178 Main Street, Kingston, at 7:00 p.m. on November 6. This program, supported by the New Hampshire Humanities Council, is free and open to the public.