New England Barn Dance Music & Calling: Fiddles
Two Fiddles, Jacqueline and Dudley Laufman, play jigs and reels for old time New England barn dances at town halls, festivals, camps, conferences, schools, family gatherings, weddings, and elder hostels. Their dances are designed to bring communities together through music and the fun simple dance figures. These old time dances are suitable for all age groups and no experience is needed to participate in and enjoy them. Dudley calls the dances and plays a variety of instruments including fiddle, accordion, concertina, and harmonica. Dudley and Jacqueline both learned their music through oral tradition and they pass this heritage on to their apprentices. Two Fiddles has toured across the U.S., and performed in Canada, Germany and Wales. In 1999, Two Fiddles represented New Hampshire at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and they performed again at the expanded recreation Celebrate New Hampshire festival held in 2000 in Hopkinton, N.H. In 2001, Dudley received the New Hampshire Governor’s Arts Award in Folk Heritage for lifetime achievement and excellence.
Two Fiddles has produced several CDs including their recent, Where’d You Get Them Great Chunes, Plain Chocolate Soda, and a substantive educational publication called Traditional Barn Dances with Calls & Fiddling. Published in 2009 by Human Kinetics, this book, 2 CDs and DVD set is based upon Two Fiddles’ earlier works White Mountain Reel and Sweets of May. In 2007, David Millstone produced a documentary video on Dudley’s role in the New England contra dance tradition called “The Other Way Back: Dancing with Dudley.”
Dudley has a repertoire of traditional English songs with sing-a-long choruses that can be included at community gatherings. He also enjoys telling Yankee stories. Dudley is a very active poet and has published numerous books and broadsides, many under his own Wind in the Timothy Press and accompanied by Jacqueline’s water color illustrations.
activities and age groups: Participatory dances for all ages, performances, lecture-demonstrations, workshops, fiddle lessons, storytelling, and poetry programs of poems, stories and fiddle tunes. Master classes for apprentices. In-depth school residencies as well as shorter school presentations for all grade levels. School programs can be tailored to address curriculum needs in the area of music, dance, social studies, New Hampshire history, and physical education.
Worldwide, Nationwide, Statewide year round
$450-$800/day for most programs
Dudley & Jacqueline Laufman
PO Box 61
Canterbury, NH 03224-0061
Two Fiddles is on the New Hampshire Artist Roster and the Traditional Arts & Folklife Listing.
Photo above by Doug Mindell.
Click here for Wind in the Timothy Press.