Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Call of the Loon

Contratopia is delighted, and honored, to be chosen as the band for the 1st annual Call of the Loon Weekend to be held at Tapestry Folkdance Center in Minneapolis, MN on April 8-10, 2011. We are especially pleased to be working with the extraordinary caller, and our old friend, Carol Ormand at this event.

Tapestry is making an effort to put on a weekend that will draw dance gypsies from all corners of the contra dance world and we would love to see you there. Minneapolis is an easy city to fly in and out of and Tapestry is only a couple of blocks away from a light rail station on the line that runs between the airport and downtown. The dance floor and the facility are great and the Twin Cities dance community is home to some of the friendliest and finest dancers in the country. Put the Call of the Loon on your spring dance calendar now!

We had a great time and a great turnout last weekend in Decorah for our concert/dance combo. David Kirchner kept things fun and interesting and no one seemed to mind that it was below zero outside. We definitely heated up the hall. There's even been some talk of making it an annual event.

Next up for the band is a return to Northfield for another (the 5th Annual) Winter Stomp! on February 18th at the Armory downtown. The caller will be the wonderful Robin Nelson. Teaching is at 7:00 and the dance runs from 7:30-10:30. We hope many of you can make it to that dance as well.

Finally, our emails accounts have been flooded with memos back and forth about future touring plans. There's a pretty good chance that we will be visiting the mid-Atlantic region (they haven't barred us yet :)) in March of 2012 and we are exploring some possibilities for Fall 2011 as well. We'll keep you posted.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Contratopia coming to Decorah, Jan. 22, 2011

Well actually half of Contratopia is always in Decorah. But next weekend we've succeeded in enticing our Better Half to make the winter journey down for a dance and a rare concert performance. These events will take place at the Elks Lodge in downtown Decorah with the short concert beginning at 7:00. This will be followed by a teaching session and a full-blown contra dance with caller David Kirchner at 8:00. The ending time is a little open-ended at this point, probably sometime between 10:30-11:00.

It turns out that our appearance in Decorah coincides with the 2nd annual Oneota Film Festival that will be taking place next weekend at Luther College. While the concert and dance will cost you $7 to get in, the film festival is free (donations are encouraged). You will want to go to the festival web site and register if you want to learn more.

Long time Contratopia watchers will know that it is extremely rare for the band to perform in a concert setting. Sometimes if we are featured at a music weekend we will play a short concert set and there have been two or three other instances where we played have performed in a quiet room without dancers, but not very often. So this afternoon we will be having a rehearsal before our dance in Minneapolis to come up with an interesting program of music that we don't normally get to play. It should be a lot of fun.

Erik and I (and maybe more?) will be playing live and talking with Jeni and Tim on the KDEC Artist Direct radio show next Friday morning at 8:15 to advertise this event. We did this once last summer for a different local event and had a great time. If you're not in Decorah you can listen online at the KDEC website. Hopefully I will be able to keep my foot out of my mouth during the interview portion of the show.

Before anything happens in Decorah next weekend we first get to play a dance at Tapestry in Minneapolis tonight. And have a reunion with Ted Hodapp as well. I hope we'll see you at one of these events.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Tapestry, Ted, Tunes

Ted, Tunes, Tapestry? Tunes, Tapestry, Ted?

In any event, in whatever combination, we are all delighted to be just a week away from seeing our buddy Ted Hodapp next week at Tapestry. We've had a lot of winter weather since the band's last time together and we are all ready to play some Contratopia tunes. It's been nearly a year since we've had the pleasure of working with Ted and that was out in D.C. I'm not sure how long it's been since we played a dance at Tapestry with our Phavorite Physicist but it's been too long by any standard.

Here in Iowa and Minnesota we are having the cold weather this weekend so next weekend should be balmy. Mark your calendars now for Jan. 15 and bring your dry, indoor dancing shoes to the Tapestry Folkdance Center. I guarantee you that the band and the caller will be there having a great time.