Philippe Callens is internationally known as a dance leader of English country dancing and other styles. A native of Belgium, he has been active in the dance community for more than 20 years, teaching, publishing, calling and composing, and has called far and wide in the U.S. over the last decade. He has been on staff at Pinewoods, Mendocino and Brasstown, and has led workshops and dances for many dance communities. He is renowned for the clarity of his teaching and his ability to enhance the dancers’ personal enjoyment while working on style and technique.
Philippe has been an active choreographer since the mid-1980’s,devising new, memorable, and highly danceable dances. His visits to the U.S. have led to numerous publications, including two volumes of English country dances, Continental Capers (1999) and Belgian Boutades (2002). He recently collaborated on a CD recording of English country dance tunes, Red Star Line - From Belgium to America, with the bands A Joyful Noise and Hold the Mustard.
Here's what one friend of ours says about Philippe:
Philippe is such a superb teacher and caller that I will travel anywhere in the world to attend a workshop led by him. His calling is clear, precise, and accurate; he is a good-natured but efficient teacher; he is very knowledgeable about cultural and dance history. Finally, he is a warm and friendly person with a delightful sense of humor, who genuinely loves English country dance.
Chuck Ward has been on the country dance scene for more than forty years. He was keyboardist for the Berea College Country Dance Troupe in Kentucky and toured widely with this semiprofessional dance team. He has been on the staff of the Berea College Christmas School, John C. Campbell Folk School (North Carolina), Pinewoods Camp (Massachusetts), Mendocino International Folklore Camp (California), BACDS English Week (California), and numerous weekend camps throughout the United States including Alaska. He is co-founder of the Bay Area Country Dance Society and is heard on several recordings released through The Country Dance and Song Society.
Shira earned her degree in music from UC Berkeley and studied vielle with Margriet Tindemans. A member for many years of Ensembles Alcatraz and Project Ars Nova, she has played in numerous other groups and is the founder of Class V Music, an ensemble dedicated to performance on river rafting trips. Shira has performed and taught all over the world, and in addition to playing exquisite English country dance music, currently performs with the medieval ensemble Fortune's Wheel; a new music group, Ephemeros; an eclectic ethnic band, Panacea; and Trouz Bras, which specializes in dance music of Celtic Brittany. The strangest place Shira has played in is the elephant pit of the Jerusalem Zoo.
Jim has gone through a succession of musical stages, from early music to traditional. Having diverse tastes, he has played in many bands and performs on an absurd number of instruments, from accordion and bagpipe to whistle and zurna. He is familiar to local dancers from his performances at the Playford Ball, Mendocino English Week, and Fall Weekend, but is also featured at events on the East Coast and in England. Jim is currently active as a musician for English country dances, contras, Irish and Cape Breton sessions and dances from Brittany.
Last modified 2/11/04 by MRB webmaster