Posts Tagged ‘Cajun’

Dancing in the Streets – Report

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Well, some of us passed a good time at Dancing in Streets on Sunday. (Note: Down in Louisiana people would say they “passed a good time” instead of “had a good time” as folks would say up here in the north.) Creole du Nord played for an hour and 15 minutes, and a fair number of folks did some dancing in the streets.

Dancers dancing in the street

Dancers dancing in the street

Dancing in the streets is of course a tad more difficult than dancing in a proper dance hall since most streets have a crown (high spot down the middle, sloping down towards the curbs) for drainage, not to mention there are cracks and patches and other obstacles in the road. Yes, even the painted lines down the middle are slippery compared to the friction of asphalt. But it’s still fun to dance out in the open air to good music.

Creole du Nord

The Creole du Nord band

I have to confess this was first time I had actually heard Creole du Nord play for a dance, although I have jammed with them in the past, and they were excellent. Good, solid Cajun two-step beats, plus steady syncopated zydeco dance rhythms. Mark Palms was really getting into some zydeco accordion licks, too. I had thought that Creole du Nord mostly stuck to Cajun music, but it was a pleasant surprise to hear them play a number of zydeco tunes to mix it up.

Susan Filipiak provided some dance instruction for the Cajun and zydeco dancing, and it was doled out in small portions. She taught a basic two-step, then the band played a few tunes, then Susan taught a bit more about the dancing, then the band played, and so on. I thought that was good as sometimes when we try to teach new folks to dance we throw too much at them at once!

There was, of course, much more at Dancing in the Streets. The ballroom/swing dance area with the II-V-I Orchestra seemed particularly well attended, plus there were some folks at the contra dance area, and the Middle Eastern dance area drew a fair number of onlookers to a dance demo. I did get to see some old friends from my contra-dancing days, and who knows, I may try to do some contra-dancing again soon, although I’m sure my cranky knees would complain!

Dancing in the Streets

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Every Labor Day weekend, the city of Ann Arbor closes the streets in downtown Ann Arbor for Dancing in the Streets, an event sponsored by AACTMAD (the Ann Arbor Council for Traditional Music and Dance). There are multiple stages with multiple bands playing various types of music for dancing, including ballroom, swing, English, contra dance, Scottish, Polynesian, Middle Eastern, and of course Cajun. The 2010 DitS is on Sunday, September 5.

This year’s Cajun music at DitS is provided courtesy of Creole du Nord, a band of Mark Palms who hails from the Manchester, MI, area. He is a fine local musician who also plays in a band with his wife Carol, the Raisin Pickers. The Palms also promote the Riverfolk Festival in Manchester each year. Anyway, Creole du Nord is playing from 5:15 to 6:30 pm this year, so grab your dancing shoes and get there! Don’t forget you’ll be dancing outdoors in the streets (which is why they call it “Dancing in the Streets”)!

Here’s the full 2010 DitS schedule. Oh, by the way, DitS is absolutely free!