This has been an exciting year for the OFB. We’ve added three new regular dances to our schedule, and have changed the format so they fit into the one page newsletter schedule designed for sticking to a refrigerator.
(For those of you without access to a refrigerator and a magnet, we’re also coming out with a new online calendar. Preview it at:www.oldfarmersball.com/calendar.htm
In addition to the regular Monday and Thursday, Grey Eagle and OFB Warren Wilson dances, we now have the 1st and 3rd Sunday OFB English Country Dance, the OFB & YMCA 4th Saturday Dance, and the not in this issue but the next, new OFB Advanced Dance. These are indicated respectively in the new schedule format with the letters G, W, E, Y and A.
If you haven’t been to a Y dance or ECD dance, check them out. The Y dance is evolving it’s own unique, and pleasant, feel. As to the ECD dance, see pictures, videos and this editor’s revue of the dance at EnglishCountryDance
Note from Sound Committee
The OFB endeavors to provide the best dance for the community. And to that goal we work to pro-vide the best sound possible. In the past few years steady improvement has been made to sound equipment. We are at the point that improve-ments are needed to the environment that the sound is in. The difficulty is not the what comes out of the speakers but the sound that bounces off the hard reflective surfaces. When sound bounces, it comes back to the listener slightly later and thus makes the music less clear - or 'out of phase.' The foot noise of the dancers also bounces, making more background noise and the sound engineers frequently need to increase the volume of the music to punch through.
To improve clarity and to be able decrease sound volume, sound absorbing material needs to be af-fixed to the walls, beams and ceilings of Bryson Gym. The materials need to be fireproof and aes-thetically approved by Warren Willson Col-lege. Some possibilities include:
Thick 2 x 4 panel under main speakers, two 2 x 4 panels over main speakers; Curtains over mirrors - thick, pleated, easily raised and lowered; One 8 x 8 cloud in front of and above main speakers; Two 2 x 4 panels on each side wall, near the wall-mounted delay-fill speak-ers; Ten 8 x 8 ceiling clouds at truss junctions; Three or five 8 x 8 panels on back wall; Two 8 x 8 sections behind band.
A Tale of Two Eves
The schedule starts and ends these two months with two special costumed ‘eve’ dances.
On All Hallow’s Eve, we have the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies special English Country Dance. The theme is inspired by, well one, Halloween, and two, the fact that English Country Dance is featured in Pride and Prejudice, although I don’t know if it’s mentioned in the new PP&Z book.
Laura Lengnick and Karen Gaughan will be playing with a variety of callers calling.
Ending the year is the annual OFB New Year’s Eve Dance, and the theme is Broadway Playbill. Expect Bryson Gym to look like a Broadway set with you dancing as your favorite character from a Broadway show.
The band will be the Contrarians (might they adapt show tunes for contra?) with Hank Morris calling.
The OFB will be offering an Advanced Dance once a month on the third Friday starting in January of next year.
The dances will be held at the Masonic Temple in downtown Asheville, which is, if you haven’t been there, a wonderful venue for a dance. (Karen Jaffe hosted her last Tango weekend there.)
This has led, of course, to endless discussion of exactly what an advanced dance means, Here’s what we came up with:
Are you comfortable with a hey for four? Can you easily keep the dance going after the caller has stopped calling? Advanced dances are held periodically and feature more complex dances with little or no walk-throughs and no beginner instruction. This dance is not intended to be ex-clusive. Mistakes happen in all dances by most dancers, and are often fun. Dancers are not expected to be perfect, but should be able to recover from mistakes at the next change of neighbors. The contras will be challenging and are aimed at experienced dancers. An experienced dancer is adept enough to be able to do the dance with little or no walk through of intermediate or advanced moves.
See the Web site for more details, and mark Jan 21 on your calendar for the first one.