Here’s a chance to shake off that winter chill with a January tradition of welcoming, for the fifth year in a row, the band ContraForce - a true “force of nature.” The band has characteristically brought over 140 dancers to the historic gym at the Sautee Nacoochee Center, a testament to its great popularity.
An additional treat for the January 27, 2018 dance will be the energetic calling of Emily Abel. Emily frequently collaborates with ContraForce and is making her second run with the band in Sautee.
ContraForce is a three-piece powerhouse of musicians that combines the frenzied bowing arm of fiddler Andrae Raffield, the syncopated rhythms of drummer and saxophone player Joey Dorwart, and the acoustic and electric guitar onslaught of Jimi Periano. The band’s primary goal has been to transform traditional contra dance music into “a new, exciting, psychedelic force.”
Andrae and Joey had played contra dances for over fifteen years before they decided to strike out on their own in 2011 to explore a new vision, while teaming up with percussionist Jimi. The band escalated to writing much of its own material and aimed it energies at stretching the boundaries of traditional dance tunes. Over the years, ContraForce has garnered an enthusiastic following, particularly among younger dancers hungry for its wild and energetic style of music for dancing.
Caller Emily Abel, currently from Asheville, NC, has called dances throughout the United States, having traveled thousands of miles, sometimes exclusively by bicycle. Nicknamed “Rainbowface” on the contra dance circuit, she is known for her energy and enthusiasm, for often singing her calls, and for her clear, concise instruction when teaching dances.
Introductory lesson, 7:30 pm; dance, 8-11 pm. No partner or prior experience necessary. SNCA members, $7; non-members, $10; students, $5; children 12 and under, free. The SNC historic gym is located at 283 Highway 255 North, ¼ mile off Highway 17 in Sautee, Georgia. Contact: (706) 878-3300; www.snca.org or www.sauteecontra.com.
By Charles Hawkins and Beth Marsh Hawkins
Dedicated volunteers who help keep the Sautee Community Contra Dance in the public eye.