Back to busy Fall schedules can also mean more reason for fun contra dancing in the historic Sautee Nacoochee Center gym. On Saturday, September 23, 2017, come dance to luscious melodies produced by three musicians in the band Beside the Point from Atlanta. Caller Jennie Wakefield of Greenville, South Carolina, will provide fine leadership for the evening.
Beside the Point is Bob Kirkman and Nathalie Levine on twin fiddles and Stven Carlberg on piano. Their repertoire and style draw from New England, Quebecois, Celtic, contemporary, old-time Appalachian, and original tunes.
Based in Atlanta, the band brings an alternately driving and lyrical sound to dance halls around the Southeast. The band members like to say that when the band is this fun, the name is “beside the point.”
Nathalie Levine started playing fiddle for her local contra dance community in New Jersey at age 15. In successive years, she has danced and played Nordic fiddle, sung Slavic women's music and Sacred Harp, and played Balkan and klezmer percussion with a variety of groups in addition to staying involved with contra.
Fiddler Bob Kirkman and pianist Stven Carlberg have played contra dance music for many years with other bands, and together (in the band Contraplicity) since 2008. Bob is also the organizer and “father” of the Atlanta Open Band, a group that offers aspiring contra dance musicians the opportunity to hone their skills in a larger dance band situation.
Jennie Wakefield is a long-time contra dancer, dance organizer and caller. She has a clear, direct teaching style and creates dance programs that are fun for experienced dancers and accessible to new ones. She calls dances in her hometown and in other dance locations in North and South Carolina.
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.