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CONTRASHOCK! to Present Two Days of Dancing and Live Music, 9/18-19

Country Dance*New York (CD*NY) and Brooklyn Contra are presenting Contrashock!, two days of contra dancing and live, high energy music on Friday and Saturday, September 18 and 19, 2015 with two great bands, The Great Bear Trio and Nor'easter, and three great callers, Jean Gorrindo, Will Mentor, and Bob Isaacs. No previous experience is required and it is not necessary to come with a partner. A caller walks everyone through the patterns of each dance making contra dancing a delightful pleasure for all.

The Friday night dance, September 18, will be held at Camp Friendship, 339 8th Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn with dancing for all from 8pm to 11pm and a beginner's dance lesson from 7:30pm to 8pm. Live music will be provided by the popular band, The Great Bear Trio, and the dance will be led by caller Jean Gorrindo coming to New York from the Central Coast of California.

On Saturday, September 19, two dances will take place at P.S. 199, 270 West 70th Street in Manhattan: an afternoon dance featuring challenging contras for experienced dancers from 2pm to 5:15pm, and a contra dance for all from 7:30pm to 10:45pm with a beginner's contra dance lesson from 7pm to 7:30pm. Dynamic and spirited live music will be performed by two extraordinary bands, The Great Bear Trio, and Nor'easter, with highly regarded callers Will Mentor and Bob Isaacs leading the Saturday dances.

Admission to each dance is $20. A weekend pass for all three dances is $55. Further information can be found at and tickets and passes are available online at

As one of the hottest and most influential dance bands in the U.S., The Great Bear Trio ( continues to push boundaries and set the standard for modern contra dance music. Multi-instrumentalist brothers Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand are ably accompanied by their mother, Kim Yerton, on piano. Their driving rhythm, epic dynamics and uniquely rocking style have given them a loyal following of all ages.

The Boston-based band Nor'easter ( is comprised of Cedar Stanistreet on the fiddle, Max Newman on the mandolin and guitar, and Julie Vallimont on the piano and accordion. Drawing from New England traditions, the trio delights in bringing infectious, uplifting music to dance floors throughout the country. They have traveled and performed throughout the continent, playing in more than twenty U.S. states and three Canadian provinces, while attracting a large following.

California-based, contra dance caller Jean Gorrindo is respected for her teaching and musical skills combined with musical and rhythmic vocal quality. Will Mentor is a greatly admired contra and square dance caller from Northern Vermont known for his clear teaching, upbeat wit, and relaxed stage presence. Bob Isaac, from New Jersey, is known for his expertise as a talented teacher and contra dance caller.

Contra dancing is having a renaissance around the country, thanks to a thriving youth scene; lively, uplifting acoustic music; and joyful, fast-paced, aerobic dancing. Contra dancing started in New England in the 1700s, but the modern version is a far cry from the Virginia Reel-type dancing done in schools years ago. The current dancing is done in long lines of dancers facing their partners and moving briskly in patterns to live music, dancing with a partner, and also with others they meet in the course of the dance.

Attendees are asked to bring a separate pair of clean, soft-soled shoes for dancing.

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