LEWISTON – Portland fiddler Ed Pearlman and his pianist son Neil will be the featured musicians at an evening of contra dancing Friday, June 13, at Callahan Hall at the Lewiston Public Library.

The Pearlmans will be joined by banjo player and bagpiper Anthony Shostak and percussionist Alfred Lund, comprising a quartet being billed as “Highland Hash” for the lively melange of Scottish and Irish jigs and reels.

Ed & Neil Pearlman will perform cuts from their just-released album, “On the Edge,” which blends Neil’s jazz influences with Ed’s traditional Scottish fiddle music.

Caller for the event will be Jeff Petrovitch.

The event runs from 8 to 11 p.m. and carries an admission charge of $2 for students and $5 for others.

Recognized as the indigenous folk dance of New England, contra dancing is one of the easiest styles of dance to learn, making it particularly user-friendly for beginners, said LPL cultural coordinator Cindy Larock. There is a prescribed set of relatively simple dance moves which fit squarely to the music and are repeated numerous times during the course of each dance. Thus by the end of the dance, the choreography has become almost second nature for those on the floor, regardless of prior experience. The band typically plays one or two optional couple dances during the evening as well, such as a waltz or polka.

It is not necessary to bring a partner to the event as the custom is for everyone to mingle freely during the evening.

Contra dancing has gained an enthusiastic following in the area due, in part, to public dances held monthly at Bates College. Because these are suspended during the summer while Bates students are on school break, the Lewiston library is putting on summer dances in its air-conditioned Callahan Hall.

The library is at 200 Lisbon St. For more information, call 513-3050.


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