BATON ROUGE INTERNATIONAL FOLK DANCERS
It was noted in the last spring/summer newsletter to not worry about 2009 being an odd sounding year because the way time was flying it would be 2010 before you know it - well- guess what - yep it is now 2010! 2009 really did fly by. And as a matter of fact 2010 is now half over. And since it is now time for the long hot summer maybe time will slow down for a while. So to help out take time from your busy schedules to watch and listen for the summertime- the sounds of noisy cicadas high in the trees during the day replaced by soothing katydids during the night with a little afternoon thunder and lightning thrown in for good measure- maybe even a little afternoon nap in the air conditioning to escape the summer heat. There time is slowing down already.
BRIFD has had a fast but fun and eventful first half of the year. Our dancers continue to fill Friday nights with gusto and enthusiasm and many dances are done before the night is done! Since we have started writing down the dance requests each night on a tablet, we are able to look at the diversity and get a more precise count of dances we do on an average Friday night. Looking at the last two months, on May 14 we did 34 dances and on June 18 we did 33. Looking over the half year, the average is somewhere near 30. And of course you can always add one more for our ending Lesnoto Medley which is not written down as are a few other dances that we might have forgotten to list. And the dances were from countries like Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Scotland, America, Turkey, Hungary, Greece, Ireland, Cajun, Israel, Russia and the Czech Republic. It was really that many!
Among the highlights for the year so far are some reteaches and reviews of old dance favorites by Jim Burke which included Kostursko Oro, Pentozali, Zaplanski Cacak, Vranjanka, Pinosovka and Postie’s Jig. Also thanks to Connie Holmes, we have added and Indian dance to the list with her teaching of Bhangran which she learned with Mary Irving at an Indian dance event. And add on to those, the Romanian dance Hora de Munte taught by Jim Burke who learned it from Sonia Dion and Cristian Florescu at this years San Antonio Folk Dance Festival.
Speaking of the San Antonio Folk Dance Festival, it was the 52nd festival and was held March 12-14 this year. Attending were Dugan Sabins, Rey Del Castillo, Jim and Idabelle Burke and Vonnie Brown. It was another fun time and the lead teachers this year were the energetic Sonia Dion and Cristian Florescu. Vonnie led a culture corner event again this year celebrating the folk dance careers of Sonia and Cristian which started in Romania for Cristian where he danced with many Romanian folk ensembles and studied under various Romanian dance specialists. Cristian met Sonia while dancing with a folk dance company in Canada and that led to their teaming up so to speak. They will be married this year at the Stockton Folk Dance Camp in California and our own Karl Volkmar has told us he will be there to witness the event. We will have to get all the details from Karl when he gets back.
Among other gatherings and scatterings for the year were the continuing performances of Steve and Donna Bing and their various bands. Steve’s “Bayou Hot Shots” do Cajun music for dancing at various locals including Boutin’s and his “ole timey” band does the hoedowns, square and contra dances and reels. Charlene Heaton, Lucille LaBauve and Dugan Sabins joined Steve and Donna for one of the ole time fun nights recently at the folksy Café Des Amis on Bridge Street in Breaux Bridge of course! We had a lively night with Steve calling squares, contras and the famous Virginia reel.
And also of note was David and Janet Kirshner’s “surgery delayed” Labor Day Jazz Brunch held on May 15. David and Janet had to cancel their annual Labor Day event last year because of Janet’s surgery but more than made up for it from what we heard with their May makeup party. And congratulations also to David who recently obtained his American citizenship which was celebrated at the party.
And also of note are the singing folk dancers that have welcomed other dancers to Friday night by greeting us on the porch of the Huey P. Long Field House. With guitar in hand, Charlene joined by Lucille and sometimes Janetta Kriel and other singers have serenaded us with some favorite old and older folk and folksy like songs. It kind of sets the tone for a night of folk dancing. If this style singing sounds interesting to you then look up Charlene at folk dance and sign up with her for other singing opportunities.
And we have a schedule for the rest of the summer:
The last regular weekly Friday night folk dance will be Friday, June 25 and will be a summer ending wiz bang party night so plan to come and bring all your goodies. Go out of your way to make this party to see the summer off to a good start! After that we will take July and August off from regular dance.
There are some dancing opportunities for July and August.
Rey has informed us of Cajun Dance master Roland Ducet’s class graduation trip to La Poussiere will be on Sunday, July 11 at 3 PM. Plans are to meet at the old Shoney’s Restaurant across the river. Also there will be a CFMA Cajun Dance at the ACT Hall on Florida Blvd., Friday night July 23rd at 8PM. For August there will be CFMA dances on Friday, August 6 and 27 that we can plan on for those who are open those nights. As time permits, we may also do some folk dancing. We will notify everyone as we near these happenings but if you are interested put them on your calendar.
Folk dancing will start again this fall on Friday September 10th so put that on your calendar also along with Sunday, September 19 at 4:30 PM for the annual Fish Fry. Jo and Ed Zganjar will again be our host for the fish fry at their home, 435 Kenilworth Parkway. To keep up with all this don’t forget go to our website provided by Bill LeBlanc at www.brifd.homestead.com . See everyone this fall and have a happy and safe summer!