WENDY MacISAAC Cape Breton fiddle from Nova Scotia
Cape Breton step dance from Boston CHRISTINE MORRISON
Wendy MacIsaac is a fiddler/piano player/stepdancer from Creignish, Cape Breton, Canada. Wendy has been touring all over the world for the last ten years with Mary Jane Lamond, Ashley MacIsaac, Beolach (her current band) and as a solo performer. She has performed in Italy, Brazil, the UK, Ireland, Iceland, Eastern Europe and all over North America. Wendy’s recordings include ‘The Reel Thing’ (1994), ‘That’s What You Get’ (1996) and her latest album ‘Timeline’ (2003). Beolach has recorded a self-titled album (2001), and Wendy is featured prominently on the recordings of Mary Jane Lamond.
Christine Morrison, a Boston native descended from Capre Bretoners, began studying step dance from traditional dancers at the early age of four. She danced for many years with the acclaimed step dance group, Four on the Floor. They performed at numerous festivals and concerts, performing with for example, acclaimed performer Natalie MacMaster. Currently, she dances with the six-member group, The Boston Kiltics, who perform the music and dance of Cape Breton. Christine is also a professional dance instructor, and is committed to keeping the tradition alive by teaching children and adults alike in the Boston area.
This evening's dances will include two traditional sets danced by Cape Bretoners and their descendants in Boston,
as well as several New England contradances and square dances.
Dances are regular events in Cape Breton villages and towns, and dances from different locations, while similar, are unique to that place and are the dances of choice there. We will do a set dance from the village of Mabou on the coast of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This set, the Mabou Set, is most simply descirbed as a three-part circle dance, the first two parts danced to jigs, and the third to reels. It is danced in two circles with the two circles interacting during the third part. In the community of its origin it is danced without calls because the villagers all know the dance. We will provide calls because of the paucity of Cape Bretoners at our dance.
Many Cape Bretoners moved to Boston over the last century because work was hard to find at home and plentiful in the American city down the coast. Hence, a community developed in Boston, and this community, too, developed its own dance: the Boston Set. This one more closely resembles a typical New England square dance, and we will dance this one, too.