Contra Dance Film Series

Dudley Laufman

Belfast Flying Shoes and the Belfast Free Library present “Contra Connections”, a four-part series of documentaries related to contra dancing. Third in the series on Wednesday, March 28, is The Other Way Back: Dancing with Dudley, which chronicles the career of musician and caller Dudley Laufman, the charismatic figure at the center of a dance revival in the late 1960s and 1970s. Laufman’s influence reached to Maine; his work with the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra inspired the musicians and callers who formed both the Maine Country Dance Orchestra and Maine Fiddle Camp, now in its 24th year. In venues ranging from the Newport Folk Festival to kitchen junkets at his house in the Shaker Village of Canterbury, NH, the inimitable musician and caller has brought thousands of people the joy of traditional music and dance. In 2009, Laufman was lauded as a 2009 National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts. Belfast Flying Shoes board member Chrissy Fowler says, “Whether you know Dudley or not, this is a tale worth hearing. Folks who consider Dudley as ‘the kinda curmudgeonly caller from Canterbury who teaches at Fiddle Camp’ may have a surprise in store. At the film’s premiere ten years ago, the audience moved through a whole range of emotions, from awestruck admiration to hilarity.”

The “Contra Connections: Dance Documentaries” film series will conclude on May 2 with What’s Not To Like? A Community Contra Dance. 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. Additional support provided by the Belfast Free Library and a grant from the Maine Expansion Arts Fund of the Maine Community Foundation ( Each film begins at 6:00pm in the Abbott Room at the Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street in Belfast. For more info, email [email protected].