Belfast Flying Shoes and the Belfast Free Library present “Contra Connections”, a four-part series of documentaries related to contra dancing. On Wednesday, February 28, the second film is Paid To Eat Ice Cream: Bob McQuillen and New England Contra Dancing, which chronicles the musical career of an icon in the contra dance community. Winner of the prestigious National Folk Heritage award and renowned for his “boom-chuck” piano style, not to mention his tattooed arms, McQuillen was known locally as a piano and accordion teacher at Maine Fiddle Camp in Montville. He wrote over 1500 tunes, recorded several albums, and regularly used his booming voice to impart spicy commentary from the stage. Read more about the beloved “Mr. Mac” here and here.
The dance documentary series continues with The Other Way Back: Dancing with Dudley on March 28, and What’s Not To Like? A Community Contra Dance on May 2. Belfast Flying Shoes has donated the four films in the series, along with three other documentaries connected to traditional New England social dancing, to the Belfast Free Library’s media collection.
“Contra Connections” is an outreach program of Belfast Flying Shoes, the non-profit arts organization that produces the first Friday community and contra dances in Belfast (pictured above.) Additional support provided by the Belfast Free Library and a grant from the Maine Expansion Arts Fund of the Maine Community Foundation (mainecf.org). Each film is free to the public and begins at 6:00 pm in the Abbott Room at the Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street in Belfast. For more info, email [email protected].