Cascade Contras on the River – October 14-16, 2022

This year we will host an urban contra dance weekend in a lovely venue in Springfield, Oregon. We’ll will provide 14 hours of teriffic contra music by two nationally-known bands with calling by two great callers! As in other urban dance camps, dancers will need to arrange their own lodging and meals for the weekend.Everyone will be admitted upon receipt of payment until camp is full. Registration online will open August 1, 2022. The Eugene Folklore Society values equality and mutual respect. We appreciate the diversity of gender, age, race, ethnicity, national origin, range of abilities, sexual orientation, gender identity. and gender expression. We actively cultivate a climate of purposeful inclusion of all. Gender neutral calling will be used for all dances. Questions about camp? Send an email to the Cascade Contras Committee.

Registration for Cascade Contras will open online on August 1, 2022. Each individual dancer will need to register separately.

The Syncopaths – From dance floors to concert halls, the Syncopaths bring a fresh, contemporary spin to music and songs rooted in the Scottish, Irish, and American folk traditions. They create a “chamber folk” sound with compelling interplay between fiddle and mandolin, rich vocals, and unexpected colors and rhythms from the piano and bodhrán. High-energy dance tunes and soulful contemplative songs are delivered with passion and humor, engaging with audiences to create lasting memories.

At the heart of the band’s sound are the twin engines of Ryan McKasson’s dynamic, Scottish-based fiddling and the understated-but-monster picking of mandolinist Ashley Broder. Jeff Spero provides inventive and surprising piano accompaniment, anchored by the driving power of Christa Burch’s non-traditional bodhrán. Christa also lends her singular voice to the beautiful, contemplative songs. They ably stretch melodic boundaries while keeping a steady, compelling, danceable beat, connecting with audiences through music, song, and story. What sets them apart from other excellent musicians, though, is their wonderful personalities and the sense of pure joy that emanates from their playing. Don’t miss this chance to see a very special band!

The Latter Day Lizards
The Lizards are a New England based trio of musicians who ignite flames under dancing feet! With a widely ranging and hopelessly eclectic repertoire from Irish and Scottish traditional jigs and reels to Balkan, blues and swing tunes the Latter Day Lizards bring excellent musicianship, playfulness, drama and unrelentingly infectious rhythm to their dance performances. With Kate Barnes on piano, guitar and flute, Bill Tomczak on clarinet, sax and drum and Dave Langford on guitar and fiddle, they blend swing, rock-and-roll and jazz influences with traditional foot-stomping dance music to make an innovative, spontaneous and rhythmically inflammatory sound. 

The Latter Day Lizards

And in a special treat for Cascade Contras The Lizards will be joined by Corey DiMario on double bass! Corey will surly give The Lizard’s sound some wonderful depth.

The members of the Lizards come from diverse backgrounds within the traditional dance world and have been hired for dance events, festivals and concerts from California to the British Isles. Kate Barnes has been playing piano, flute and assorted other instruments for dancers for many years, and has been invited to most major contra, square, English and vintage dance events throughout the United States. She currently works with the bands The Lizards, Bare Necessities, and Yankee Ingenuity. Bill Tomczak has been playing clarinet for folk dance of one kind or another since 1979. He has recorded with BLT, Wild Asparagus and Yankee Ingenuity and appears on the recordings Cascade of Tears and Gypsy Wine with Mary Lea and friends.

Susan Michaels is a fun and funny caller who specializes in contra dances that flow. Hailing from Vashon Island, Washington, Susan has been calling contras and squares for more than 30 years. She’s called from coast to coast and has taught and called at many dance camps including Lady of the Lake, Chehalis, Pinewoods, and Dare to Be Square East and West. Susan believes it is her “calling” to facilitate the pleasure of the dancers and create joy.

Michael Karcher has been having the time of his life calling dances and weekends around the North America since 2011. He has trained with Lisa Greenleaf and Niles Fredland and has honed a warm and concise style of teaching and calling, to the delight of dancers across the continent.