Two young dancers, Jen Morgan and Charley Roberts, have written a feature in the Spring 2015 issue of English Dance & Song magazine which challenges the commonly-held view that the contra and Playford dance repertoires do not appeal to young people.
Events billed as ‘high energy contra’ or ‘zesty Playford’ at the Inter-Varsity Folk Dance Festival (IVFDF) and university folk societies at Warwick, Sheffield, Cambridge and Exeter, plus Coventry Zesty Contra and Sheffield’s Playford in the Pub events, for example, are attracting younger dancers who were often introduced to folk dancing through festival ceilidhs and who are therefore looking for a ceilidh vibe in their Playford and contra dances.
Playford dances are largely 17th and 18th century dances published by John Playford and others in volumes of The Dancing Master, and popularised in the early days of the folk dance revival by Cecil Sharp. Contra dances are American dances, mainly from New England, that follow in a British folk dance style. Read about the resurgence of enthusiasm in English Dance & Song magazine.