Northwest Passage Dance Camp
Labor Day Weekend, August 30 to September 2, 2024

Program Schedule

We haven't come up with the schedule and workshops for 2024 yet, but here's the 2023 info to give you an idea of what the program is like.

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

Sat 9:00BradDANCE HALLReconstructions of Andrew ShawAndrew Shaw is the modern master of the art of reconstruction. His work goes beyond the science of interpretation to the beauty of finely crafted transitions. all paired with wonderful tunes. This workshop will include a few of my favorites from Andrew’s published and unpublished work.

Sat 9:00Lisa, Erik & BillLAUREL LODGEEnsemble Playing and ArrangingJoin us for 75 minutes of how Fine Companions regards playing as an ensemble and arranging how we play tunes at gigs. The crux of it all is listening and reacting to what bandmates are doing, following the lead, and blazing a trail to make the music interesting and varied. Bring your instruments and join in the fun.

Sat 10:30OrlyDANCE HALLCelebrations with OrlyDances choreographed by Orly—some old, some new, all a celebration! 

Sat 10:30DaveLAUREL LODGETune WritingWe’ll discuss what makes a well-crafted tune and how this relates to a well-crafted story, with elements like internal symmetry, musical ideas, repeating motifs, story line, and unexpected elements.   I have a few tune-writing games we can try out — either group or individual exercises — and we’ll pick one or two of these to write something ourselves.  

Sat 10:30MarkCYSinging from the Heart with Mark DouglassCome enjoy some simple, quick-to-learn songs of joy, hope, and comfort to carry with you wherever you go. Sheet music provided but no music-reading experience is necessary to participate. Mark will address fundamentals of good singing in a friendly, non-competitive manner along with teaching both familiar and new-to-you songs from around the world

Sat 1:00OrlyDANCE HALLGetting in ShapeDances with unusual formations. For folks who like to color outside the lines and want to explore dancing “out of the box"!

Sat 1:00Mark & ErikLAUREL LODGEECD JamCome play some gorgeous English melodies with Erik and Mark this afternoon. Chestnuts, new favorites, and 'how does this one go?' tunes are all welcome. Bring your instruments, Barnes books, photocopies, and your ears to learn and enjoy whatever comes up during this hour-long session.

Sat 2:15BradDANCE HALLEarly Classics of Modern ECDCecil Sharp set the stage for the 20th Century revival of English country dance with his early reconstructions. This workshop will cover a selection of some of the wonderful old classics, dances that form the foundation for our modern repertoire.

Sat 2:15PaulLAUREL LODGEECD for Plucked String PlayersHow to make guitar and mandolin family instruments, and even accordions, work in an ECD ensemble.

Sat 2:15DaronCYSong SwapDangerous chores, advice from birds, and a jackfish wrong side out. Hear some of the English ballads passed down in Daron's family in western North Carolina. Bring your favorite ballads or songs from your family. Come to share and listen and sing-along. Handwork welcome.

Sat 3:30LisaDANCE HALLScottish Dance CeilidhScottish Ceilidh Dancing developed in the old village halls of rural Scotland. This informal form of dancing is for everyone and and it is very easy to learn. Come prepared to kick up your heels and have lots of laughs!

Sat 3:30BradLAUREL LODGETeaching Without WordsNon-verbal cues are a powerful tool in teaching. The tone of one’s presentation, using rhythm to convey meter and length, having a musician support your teaching or doodling or singing the tune, showing a dance without words  — all of these can do more than words alone. I will share the nonverbal tools in my teacher’s toolbox and invite you to share yours as well.

Sun 9:00BradDANCE HALL21st Century CompositionsPat Shaw opened the floodgates to modern compositions; Fried Herman, Colin Hume, Gary Roodman, Philippe Callens and many many more followed in his footsteps. Today the majority of dances taught are modern compositions. This workshop will focus on dances written in the last ten years by Gary Roodman, Joseph Pimentel, Jenna Simpson, and others.

Sun 9:00PaulLAUREL LODGETunes from the Low CountriesSome influential callers like Fried de Metz-Herman and Philippe Callens introduced new choreographies on tunes from the low Countries (Holland and Flanders).  There's many more of those to be played and choreographed!  We'll sight read through some material either in the original form or in Paul's transcriptions and experiment with dressing them up. Just a fun way of exploring some new material and honing our ensemble playing and on-the-spot arranging skills.

Sun 10:30OrlyDANCE HALLSerendipityThis workshop will explore some signature aspects of Fried Herman’s choreography, drawing mainly on dances from Serendipity (her last collection), and favorites from her earlier books.

Sun 10:30ErikLAUREL LODGEPlaying for WalkthroughsThere are many facets to successfully playing for ECD walkthroughs in a way that supports the caller’s teaching.  This is a skill that goes beyond simply playing a tune while the caller talks.  We’ll look at what is helpful and useful, and what is distracting and non-helpful.  All this from the perspective of experienced musicians and callers.  Musicians, callers and any curious onlookers are welcome.

Sun 10:30BetsyCYHarmony SingingJoin Betsy for a harmony singing session. We'll learn one or two songs, and create a few different kinds of harmonies to make them sound beautiful. No music reading needed, come as you are! All levels of singers are welcome. All songs will be taught by ear; Betsy can email sheet music to participants who want it (after camp).

Sun 1:00OrlyDANCE HALLDances with Crooked TunesThis session focusses on dances (both historical and modern) with “crooked” tunes that feature unusual rhythms or phrase lengths rather than the more typical 32-bar AABB structure! 

Sun 1:00Bill & BetsyLAUREL LODGEImprovisation in ECDBill and Betsy will build on skills practiced in the ensemble playing class, showing some of the different improv tools they use specifically in the context of ECD.  We'll work with one or two commonly played tunes and hone your improv skills with these tunes.  Come prepared to try new things and step just a touch beyond your comfort zone!

Sun 2:15BradDANCE HALLSinging Squares & Contras of Old New EnglandBrad will call a selection of singing squares primarily from the calling of Duke Miller at his dance in Fitzwilliam, NH in the 1970s, perhaps adding one from the calling of Otto Wood who at the time lived in Brasstown, NC. Interspersed will be some modern contras and chestnuts.

Sun 2:15DaronLAUREL LODGEECD Fiddle JamA session with the rich repertoire of English country dance melodies. Bring your Barnes books. All levels welcome.

Sun 3:30Lisa & DaronDANCE HALLOpen Band WaltzingThis session is open to all dancers and musicians who either want to play or dance waltzes (or some of both!). We will 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.

Sun 3:30OrlyLAUREL LODGEStrategies for ProgrammingHow do we craft the perfect program (hint: there’s no such thing) and how can we make lemonade from the unexpected lemons we encounter along the way?