Contra Shenanigans, Part II: Thoughts on Chaos/Shenanigans/Wild/Fill-in-term-of-choice-here Sets!
Last week, we talked about gender-swapping and dancing switch in contra lines. This week we take the concept to the entire line, where people can intentionally swap roles and partners up and down the line as the dance goes on. These so-called “chaos/shenanigans/wild/etc. lines” have at times been formally announced, and at other times have happened on smaller scales on a somewhat ad hoc basis through two or three couples following each other up or down the set (with all of them being 1’s or all being 2’s, and then swapping partners and roles amongst themselves as they traveled up or down the line).
Other Ways to Mix It Up
Seth Tepfer from the Atlanta, Georgia area wrote a couple of contras that were designed for a 12-bar blues tune rather than a 32-beat contra tune (links take you to his site).
I've seen blues choreography worked into contras (especially swings) before, and I've danced contras and ECD and Sicilian circles in waltz time, but I hadn't seen this before, so I thought I would share.
This project has concluded as of mid-2013 (with an epilogue posted mid-2016) but we hope to see you soon on a contra dance floor! Meanwhile, head over to our Facebook page for upcoming techno contra events and other items of interest.
The 100+ Friday Flourish videos can still be found on YouTube.
I dance with abandon. I play with glowsticks. I look for music that is conducive to one or both. I play behind cameras. I write about all of the above. I'm based in Glen Echo's contra dance community outside of Washington, D.C., but I'm happy to go dance afield when I can. Lather, rinse, repeat. Always repeat.
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