Friend and Master Wordsmyth, George Oberst can describe an event such that you would want to be there, Here is what he had to say about the upcoming weekend:

Hi all--

Once again there's just a whale of a lot to tell so this'll be a virtual novel of an email, but can I help it if the fun in Berea is so doggone many-splendored?



Calendar Check Outline Section:

  1. Friday 10/22/10, 7-9 pmFREE contra work/playshop, Charley Harvey's "Beyond Beginners--How to Be Everyone'e Favorite Dance Partner" plus free ice cream dipped afterwards. At the Russel Acton Folk Center; directions below.
  2. Saturday 10/23/10, 7:30 to 11 pm4th Saturday Contra Dance, w/ Charley Harvey and the Berea Castoffs, Sadie Hawkins rules! At the Folk Center, party afterwards!
  3. Saturday 10/30/107-10:30 pm: Somerset's 5th Saturday Dance, w/Halloween theme. See ye attachment for all the info.
Numero Uno: About that I'Scream 'n Dance Work/Playshop on Friday--Yo yo you all this is a unique and unbeatable opportunity that is not to be missed. In my many many many years of contra dancing (that's three many's so you know I ain't lying!!) I've danced all over the place, gone to a lot-o-dance weekends etc etc, and there is nearly never a chance to actually learn this stuff in an organized way.  Most dancers just have to slowly catch on to the deeper skills of Contra by watching others or by getting the occasional hint from a partner, but at a regular dance there's never any real time for that! So how ya gonna find out what's working or not for your partners? Even so-called contra workshops at dance weekends are more about just doing harder dances with more skilled folks, not an intentionally programmed opportunity to find out how to make it truly fly. Well here ya go--Charley Harvey is a lad who can do it all on the dance floor, has a wonderful way with words and a nose for fun, and has been honing this workshop in the North Carolina hotbed of Contra. He's gonna make it all clear for us! We, as eaches and as a dance community, will jump up our enjoyment level for years to come, so all y'all should come if you possibly can. Hey--it's free, even unto the ice cream. Come at the start! OKAY! Item the 2nd: Howdy, Briar-hoppers & Ridge-runners-- Well, the nutbars that run this thing have decided that since it's almost Halloween we should do something goofy, and the chosen approach is to have a Sadie Hawkins Dance. Menfolks, read and weep, for this means that the ladies are in the driver's seat. Worse, it means that you'll be urged to dress up like a rural bumpkin. So you, my lad, will be subject to the rule of the lassies AND may look like something the cat drug in. Well, buster, it's a good bet we will still have us a high old time this Saturday.  

So who the heck was this Sadie Hawkins that we should invoke her spirit in such bizarre ways? Well, she is the best-remembered denizen of the Li'l Abner comic strip that ran in a zillion newspapers from 1934 to '77. It was set in Dogpatch, Ky., and peopled by a troop of hillbillies. It outdid every awful Appalachian stereotype and was semi-okay only because it was all a deeply satirical social and political commentary. It was funny too, and wildly popular, kind of the Doonesbury of its day except every freakin' body read it, not just the pointy-headed lefties. Get in the spirit by reading up on Li'l Abner & Daisy Mae Yokum, Sadie HawkinsJoe Btfsplk, and Evil-Eye Fleegle, as well as Moonbeam McSwine, Stupefyin' Jones and other voluptuous ladies, and a drove of other ludicrous characters. Try visiting places like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li'l_Abner

 

So, Where I was was: Sadie was so sufficiently unattractive that when she reached age 29 still unmarried in November 1937, her old dad declared a Sadie Hawkins Day with a matrimonial foot-race. All the Dogpatch bachelors had to take off running and if Sadie caught one, he had to marry her. This man-chasing soon extended to all the dogpatch maidens in an annual event, and the comic strip was such a big cultural phenomenon that it inspired all sorts of real-life adaptations wherein women could (OMG!!) ask guys out on dates and the like. Within two years there were thousands of  Sadie Hawkins events. It became a gal-power rite at high schools and colleges long before the modern feminist movement got legs.

 

What this means for us is that this Saturday, October 23, we'll be dancing in Berea in weird outfits to the calling of Charley Harvey and the music of The Berea Castoffs, with the Mini-Workshop for Beginners at 7:30 and the main event at 8:00!! All of this is at the Russel Acton Folk Center at 212 Jefferson Street. After that it's a PARTY up the street at Howard and Shirley's wonderful home and dancehall until untelling when!

 

You, oh my honeys, are encouraged to appear in Li'l Abner-inspired garb, to wit: try to look like a 1930's concept of a hillbilly. Or if you prefer, just get yourself got up in any kind of getup, and outrageousness is encouraged but --duh--keep it danceable.

 

There will be some Sadie Hawkins rules and activities:

·  Menfolk, you may not ask the gals to dance!! You are allowed only silent groveling. Sorry fellas, but this is your chance to find out if those lasses who have been politely accepting your advances all these months were actually just gritting their teeth all the while until it was over. Maybe you should be more careful with where you put your feet. Like not in your mouth would be good.

·  Ladies, special on Saturday night only, you can visit our "Marryin' Sam" and marry any man you can catch.  In fact, marry as many as you can catch-- the first one might not be a keeper, so bring on the backup men.  Any and all marriages are good 'til midnight, and we'll have a camera WOMAN on hand to immortalize your temporary harem.



This whole shebang will be just $4 for kids, students, and seniors, and $7 for the rest of us. Childcare is available-- Just $4. 

 

Remember to bring some vittles for the snack table to cover the pieless majority at break time. 

 

The Folk Center is at 212 Jefferson Street, 40403 in case you're Google mapping it. Note that if you come south on I-75 to Berea and get off at exit 77, the map won't quite match the territory soon after you get off I-75 because Google messed up.  But if you follow the signs for Ky Rt. 595 to Berea 'twill work OK. Go right at the light by the school that looks like a UFO etc-- Google's OK by there.

 

Walking from Berea College: You can nip down the hill between Bingham and Danforth dorms, cross Campus Drive and find the walk/stairway that goes even further down to the traffic light at the corner of Ellipse and Jefferson Streets. Cross Ellipse and go straight on Jefferson alongside the Eco-Village. At the end of the Eco-Village, look across Jefferson  for a big log and stone and glass affair with a parking lot in front, and that's the Folk Center.

 

After the dance there's a PARTY just a short stroll up the street, at Howard and Shirley's place-- where we danced on Friday night. It'll be more dancing,  plus chat and chow,  all freely offered by H&S, but  chow hounds should discover the Crock de Compensation and and insert a few doubloons.

You can find more info about Oh Contraire plus pictures on our website at http://www.folkcircle.org/contra   Need directions or info for Berea dances? Call Howard or Shirley Carlberg at (859) 985-5501.


 


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