Contradance gets weekend off to swinging start

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LEWISTON — The Lewiston Public Library invites people to work off their spring fever at a contradance from 8 to 11 p.m., Friday, April 9. Performing will be the band Playgroup, featuring Alden Robinson and Julia Plumb on fiddle, Abraham Stimson on piano and bass, and Zack Davis on mandolin, banjo and percussion.

Caller Kim Roberts will lead attendees in an assortment of contradances, which are similar in style to square dances but done in long double lines instead of square sets of four couples. No experience is required; all dances are taught and beginners are welcome. General admission is $5, with a reduced rate of $2 for students.

Friday’s dance was planned in conjunction with — and serves as a fitting prelude to — the 5th annual Local and Sustainable Foods Conference which is happening in Lewiston on Saturday.

“Though increasingly popular with today’s young urbanites, contradancing has its roots in old-time farm life, as a pastime which has been enjoyed by rural folks at Grange halls throughout the state since well before Maine even achieved statehood,” says LPL cultural coordinator Cindy Larock.

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In keeping with the agricultural theme, the library invited Roberts, who operates a small organic farm in the town of Industry, just outside of Farmington, to be the caller for the event. Area farmer-musicians in attendance will also be invited to sit in with the band at some point during the evening.

The library is located at 200 Lisbon St., at the corner of Pine Street in downtown Lewiston. More information on Friday’s dance is available by calling 513-3050.

Further details on the Sustainable Foods Conference will be available at the dance, or can be found at the website of its sponsor, Food for Maine’s Future, at www.foodformainesfuture.org or by telephone at 244-0908.

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