|SPRING COMES TO THE PRAIRIE|
At least, it looks like spring with all the blooms and buds. It still feels like March, though, here in Chicagoland, but all the little sticks and stems, bare and snow-covered for months, seem to know when to put out their green leaves again. We're grateful, having survived the winter of 2013-14. And the school year has only a month to go, plus snow days.
I had a great time in San Antonio in March, teaching and dancing at the National Folk Organization conference, followed by the San Antonio Folk Dance Festival--lots of nice people. Then I spent a day in Wabash, Indiana, teaching at the FAME festival, a community-wide arts-in-education event. And a dreamy weekend at Folklore Village, the folklife center near Madison, Wisconsin, doing English Country Dancing with our favorite dance ensemble, Bare Necessities, and a whole bunch of other nice people.
In between, we spent a week in Israel, staying with my husband's late mother-in-law's second husband's nephew's stepson and his wife, people we love and consider mishbochah, family. Israel is an amazing place: No matter what your background, there is history there for you. And more nice people.
Join me this summer at Boone in June again: The Silver Burdett/Pearson week of music workshops at Appalachian State University, June 16-20. Jules from the Ivory Coast will be back!
More fun in June at Folklore Village for its Midsummer Festival, June 27-29. Lots of Scandi music and dance, plus the family international dances Mars and I will lead.
Enjoy the spring, everyone!
|The leaves are turning and falling|
Another Halloween has passed, leaving us with a late, but beautiful autumn here in Chicagoland. This year, the trick-and-treaters arrived in droves, all under umbrellas. When we ran out of treats (hoping the kids didn't really know what "trick or treat" means), I remembered that nice young man from two years ago who offered us some of his candy when I apologized for having given away all of ours (see my blog below).
Such a busy year I'm having, so many wonderful people I have danced with since April in Provence (cue the song) (see blog below). Highlights include spending another great week with colleagues and teacher friends leading dances every day in the Silver Burdett/Pearson summer institute at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., (will never forget you, Jules from Ivory Coast), and also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the international folk dance group that I started in my backyard the summer of 1973, which still continues today on Monday nights in Evanston, led by a fine team.
Mars and I enjoyed the Door County, Wisconsin, Folk Festival, as we have for many years (always the week after July 4th--join us). In August, I again taught a workshop to Chicago Public Schools classroom teachers through the Ravinia Educational Foundation, then spent the last week teaching at the venerable and fun Mainewoods Folk Dance Camp in southern Maine.
In September, I led the first family dance party for the Evanston Dance Ensemble, a fabulous performing group of excellent young dancers--even some reluctant dads admitted to having fun. We are still reeling in mind, spirit, and body from the 17th annual Pourparler in mid-October in Vermont, organized locally and beautifully by Andy Davis and Peter Amidon of the New England Dancing Masters. Also in October, I have presented workshops for a lot of nice music educators at NAfME in Nashville and the Kodaly chapter in Atlanta, and still panting, am preparing for the four sessions I will be presenting in mid-November at the national American Orff-Schulwerk conference in Denver. It would be wonderful to see ya'll (this is what comes of spending time in Tennessee and Georgia) at any and all of these events.
|April 2013: Aix-ceptional Aix-perience in Aix-en-Provence|
Mars and I were so lucky to be able to participate in a cultural immersion trip in the south of France during the entire month of April, 2013. It was a trip for alumni from North American universities, based in Aix-en-Provence. The group of 30 stayed in the Adagio Hotel in the center of Aix for the whole month while attending the language school, taking cooking classes (Mars did) and drawing sessions (Sanna did), as well as being driven by bus on day trips to Arles, Marseilles, Roussillon, and other nearby towns. We shared our two-bedroom apartment with my sister, Judy Roth, and a friend, Sue Sheffler Ellis, which was very pleasant (although we had to bang on the bedroom wall a lot to make the two of them hush up and go to sleep), and we made good friends with the rest of the amazingly congenial group. We were organized and guided by a wonderful young woman, Charlotta, who took Aix-cellent care of us and made the Aix-perience very comfortable and special for everyone. We recommend AHI Travel. Unfortunately, we tried but were not able to connect with the local university folk dance group. The only dancing Mars and I did do were a few completely spontaneous terpsichorean outbursts to the music of street musicians--there were accordion players in every town playing waltzes and tangos in the musette style for the tourists, and one day on the plaza in Aix, a great Dixieland band. How could we resist? It was an Aix-ceptional and Aix-citing trip.