Northwest Passage Dance Camp
Labor Day Weekend, September 2 to 5, 2022

Program Schedule

Here's the overall schedule and workshop descriptions. Cy Lodge Fireplace Room is also often available for jam sessions, or ad-hoc camper led workshops.  We also have this printable version of the schedule.

Where is everything?  See the camp map.

Workshop Descriptions
(Click on a heading to sort the table - click on Row for schedule order)

Sat 09:00GeneDANCE
She Favorites: Brilliant New Dances by American WomenThere has been a blossoming of talent among women across the United States who have been enjoying English country dancing for many years and have begun creating their own work. Their dances embody the best of the English tradition combined with the American penchant for flowing movement, partner interaction, and music uniquely suited to the dance.  We'll enjoy dances that are challenging and simple, lively and stately, by a number of these artists.

Sat 09:00BetsyLAUREL
English JamWe'll play through our favorite tunes together, while relishing the connection that playing live tunes together can bring.  Bring suggestions, and we'll rotate to make sure everyone gets a chance to suggest some.  Sheet music welcome, but this is also a good opportunity to challenge yourself to play these tunes by ear.

Sat 10:30MelissaDANCE
Melissa's DancesMelissa has been writing tunes since she found herself humming things around the house one day and realized it wasn't a tune she already knew. Some of them wanted to be English country dances, too, so she started writing those as well. This session will highlight a few of her own tunes and some from Dave Wiesler, with varying (but generally rising) levels of complexity.

Sat 10:30RachelLAUREL
Tunes from
central France
Rachel will give a brief introduction to the types of tunes from Central France that are most commonly found in the bal folk repertoire, such as bourree, mazurka, and Scottish. Come with your instruments in hand to learn one or two of these tunes and explore possibilities for harmonies, backup grooves, and stylistic considerations. Tunes will be taught by ear, but sheet music will be available later in the workshop for reference. We'll have fun thinking about how to best make each tune danceable and how to create variety in the energy.

Sat 13:15MelissaDANCE
Dances outside
the Box
Most of the English country dances we do are based around the “box” two pairs of dancers make within a longways line. In this session, we’ll explore regions “outside” that box, looking at dances with figures that break or transcend the box, or that just have no boxiness whatsoever. We’ll also look outside of the “box” of our own expectations, for dances that surprise us in ways other than geometric.

Sat 13:15BetsyLAUREL
Playing Harmony
for ECD
I'll give you some tools for creating harmonies to use in ECD.  These will include skills to create harmonies ahead of time as well as making up harmonies on the fly.  We'll work with a few common ECD tunes.  Feel free to bring tunes to the workshop that you find tricky to harmonize.

Sat 14:45GeneDANCE
Music Made Visible - How Varied Sources, Styles, and Structure of English Country Dance Music Inform Movement.  In 2 sessionsGeorge Balanchine, among others including Imogen Holst, noted that “dance is music made visible.” The music of England's social/folk dance tradition is unusual in its embrace of a wide variety of musical forms and styles. Considering rhythmic structure alone, these include “duple” meter jigs, reels, hornpipes and marches; “triple” meter minuets, waltzes of several varieties, and slip jigs; and some eccentric forms that are “none of the above.” Sources and styles include Renaissance dance music, baroque theater music, classical-era sonatas, traditional songs, modern waltzes, and much more. We’ll explore how the best choreographers have incorporated these disparate elements in unique ways to make each visible and to enthrall the dancers. Each session is independent of the other. 

Sat 14:45JimLAUREL
Breton dance
Come enter the wonderful world of the dance music of Brittany. Using a combination of play-along memorization and written music, we’ll explore around a half dozen types of Breton dance tunes. This is a drone-based tradition, but I’ll also demonstrate some chording ideas. All instruments welcome.

Sat 16:00BetsyDANCE
Open Band
This session is open to all dancers and musicians who either want to play or dance waltzes (or some of both!).  I'll be on mic and through a monitor to help hold us all together. Bring your Waltz Books, and if you have special waltz requests that are not in those books, bring copies to share.  Suggestions welcome from both musicians AND dancers.

Sat 16:00Norman & RichLAUREL
Lead, perform or sing along on classic songs from Tin Pan Alley, Hollywood and Broadway, accompanied by Songbook enthusiast Rich Scher. Lyric sheets will be provided.

Sun 09:45MelissaDANCE
English BreakfastSomething savory, something sweet, something brisk and bracing—come dig into a smorgasbord of English country dance as we enjoy a moving “second breakfast."" We’ll have old favorites and new, simple fare and chewier morsels, engaging for feet and ears and minds.

Sun 09:45ShiraLAUREL
Singing English
Country Dances
Bring your voices and instruments for this musical romp through selections of English Country Dance Songs. The styles include madrigals, ballads, sea shanties and rounds. A banquet of words! 

Sun 11:00GeneDANCE
Music Made Visible - Session 2See Saturday @ 14:45 pm description.  Each session is independent of the other.

Sun 11:00EricLAUREL
Off the Dots Experiment with increasing freedom of expression, communication and improvisation while decreasing reliance on written ECD music!

Sun 13:30GeneDANCE
Trickster Mad Robin Goodfellow and His FriendsThe signature figure from the English country dance "Mad Robin" first published in Playford's "Dancing master" in 1687 has inspired choreographers to include it or a variant in a number of new English and contra dances. We'll do a selection of both!

Sun 13:30MelissaLAUREL
Positional Calling
Are you working on positional calling but have trouble figuring out how to call some figures? This is the place for you! I'll bring some ideas, you'll bring some ideas, we'll brainstorm some options and think together about ways to think about figures.

Sun 14:45MelissaDANCE
Early Music in ECDMedieval, Renaissance, and early baroque music has been used for this kind of dancing, well, since Playford times. But there's been an upsurge of interest in more recent decades in these very old tunes, whether it's in reconstructing their original dances or in adapting them for contemporary choreographies. This session will feature old and new choreographies to some very old tunes.

Sun 14:45GeneLAUREL
Music Considerations Around ProgrammingProgramming for English is tricky business. Not only do you need to think about choreographies, but you also need to weigh musical choices, not just for the benefit of the dancers, but for the band, too. As a musician and caller, Gene has experienced life on both sides and will share insights into creating programs that meet the needs of those on the floor, and on stage.

Sun 16:00RachaelDANCE
Bal Folk Dancing Dances from France are nearly as diverse as French cheeses, coming in a range of meters and feels, informed by the danse terroir of each region. There’s the energetic bourrée of Central France, the beautiful gavotte de l’Aven and the trance- like an dro from Brittany. Rachel will present a few of her favorites, giving newcomers and experienced dancers alike a chance to leave behind the Northwest for an hour to be transported to France through these gorgeous tunes and dances.
Sun 16:00KarenLAUREL
Comedy ImprovThis class is open to everyone who wants to add a bit of fun and humor into their day. No experience necessary. And you don't even have to be funny. We will play a bunch of theatre games, and we will aim to quiet our internal self-critical voice.