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Perform­ers for the 2018 Winter Solabration:
Susan Marie Frontczak, Storyteller
Maroon Bells Morris Dancers
Solstice Sword Dancers
Breathless in Berthoud
Mudra Dance Studio
Pipers & Drummers
Bryan Connolly Extreme Juggling
Abbie Lawrence, Balloons & Face Painting
Chris Kermiet, Dance Caller & M.C.
Patricia Danscen, Guest Caller
Tina Fields, Guest Caller
This year’s band:
Balance & Swing





Susan Marie Frontczak

Storysmith® Susan Marie Frontczak brings literature to life, picturecreates stories from thin air, and hones personal experience into tales worth telling again and again.  Her stories and living history presentations have taken her to schools, libraries, corporations, and theaters across 42 of the United States as well as Europe.  Susan's original stories have been heard on Colorado Public Radio (Morning Edition), at the Colorado Music Festival Young People's Concert, through Story Gleaner productions, and on her CD "The Three Fishes & Other Stories."  Susan Marie’s motto is: "Give me a place to stand, and I will take you somewhere else."  More at www.storysmith.org.



Susan Marie Frontczak, Storyteller /  Maroon Bells Morris Dancers /  The Solstice Sword Dancers /  Breathless in Berthoud /  Mudra Dance Studio /  Pipers & Drummers /  Bryan Connolly Extreme Juggling /  Abbie Lawrence, Balloons & Face Painting /  Chris Kermiet, Dance Caller & M.C. /  Patricia Danscen, Guest Caller /  Tina Fields, Guest Caller /  This year’s band: Balance & Swing /  Top of Page




The Maroon Bells Morris Dancers

pictureMaroon Bells is the oldest of the morris teams now dancing in Colorado.  We’ve been kicking up our heels, and jingling a few bells, since 1982 – long enough for some of our offspring to grow up and join the team.  Our dancers come from towns along the Front Range and many walks of life.  All are welcome to join us, particularly for our new dancers class each fall.  We perform locally, at festivals and for special events, as well as a few more distant spots, e.g., Red Lodge, MT, the U.S. Midwest, and, every decade or so, in England.  If you’d like to join us, please contact Squire Robin Smith for more information, or visit us on the web at: maroonbellsmorris.org



Susan Marie Frontczak, Storyteller /  Maroon Bells Morris Dancers /  The Solstice Sword Dancers /  Breathless in Berthoud /  Mudra Dance Studio /  Pipers & Drummers /  Bryan Connolly Extreme Juggling /  Abbie Lawrence, Balloons & Face Painting /  Chris Kermiet, Dance Caller & M.C. /  Patricia Danscen, Guest Caller /  Tina Fields, Guest Caller /  This year’s band: Balance & Swing /  Top of Page



The Solstice Sword Dancers

picture The Solstice Sword Dancers are five members of the Bennett School of Irish Dance: Bill and Molly Bennett, Bill MacAllister, Ken Horwedge, and Beckee Laurie. As exciting as Irish dancing can be, the intricate interlacings of rapper swords adds a whole new dimension to their dancing experience. Their practices have become one of the premier spectator events at the Friendship Irish Dance Center, since nobody can believe that anyone could extricate themselves from the complex tangles of steel that are the heart of rapper sword figures. They always do, however, like so many armed Houdinis, ready to go into the next impossible tangle and amaze everyone by emerging unscathed.
See them on YouTube.



Susan Marie Frontczak, Storyteller /  Maroon Bells Morris Dancers /  The Solstice Sword Dancers /  Breathless in Berthoud /  Mudra Dance Studio /  Pipers & Drummers /  Bryan Connolly Extreme Juggling /  Abbie Lawrence, Balloons & Face Painting /  Chris Kermiet, Dance Caller & M.C. /  Patricia Danscen, Guest Caller /  Tina Fields, Guest Caller /  This year’s band: Balance & Swing /  Top of Page




Breathless in Berthoud (Border Morris)

For at least five hundred years, teams of English men and women have dressed in ribbons and bells, waved handkerchiefs and clashed sticks together, and, to the music of pipe and tabor, fiddle, concertina, or accordion, danced the Morris. The Morris is a performance, not a social dance. It appears to be very ancient, but historical evidence before the Middle Ages is scarce. The Morris is traditional, dynamic, mysterious, and a little absurd. People dance the Morris because they love it. Breathless in Berthoud

Border Morris dancing is a style of Morris dancing originat­ing in the area of the English border with Wales. The dances are boisterous and energetic; primarily stick dances, emphasizing a thrilling performance rather than subtlety or refinement. The dancers often dance in blackface, and the dancers’ "kit" is often decorated with many ribbons or strips of material, known as rags. Besides the traditional dances, collected early in the twentieth century, Border teams dance many new dances, invented in the Border counties and in the U.S.A.

Featured on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Breathless in Berthoud is the only Border Morris Side in Colorado. We would enjoy astonishing you, and would like to take this opportunity to inform you that we are always welcoming newcomers to experience this ancient and mysterious dance form. We practice on Thursday nights at the Barn Owl Dance Studio in Berthoud.

For more information, contact Anne or Robin Smith at robins@mesanetworks.net or visit our website.




Susan Marie Frontczak, Storyteller /  Maroon Bells Morris Dancers /  The Solstice Sword Dancers /  Breathless in Berthoud /  Mudra Dance Studio /  Pipers & Drummers /  Bryan Connolly Extreme Juggling /  Abbie Lawrence, Balloons & Face Painting /  Chris Kermiet, Dance Caller & M.C. /  Patricia Danscen, Guest Caller /  Tina Fields, Guest Caller /  This year’s band: Balance & Swing /  Top of Page




Mudra Dance Studio

Mudras Dancers

The Mudra Dance Studio is a Colorado based dance troupe under the directions of Namita Khanna Nariani, who was born and raised in India.  She trained in “Kathak”— the North Indian Classical Dance style that means “dancing a story” and is an expressive dance style that has intense foot work and numerous turns.  Namita‘s expertise is also in the diverse folk dance styles from around the country.

Mudra Dance Studio teaches and presents classical, contemporary and folk dances from India, that include Kathak and dances from both north and south India.  Started in 1993 by Artistic Director Namita Khanna Nariani, Mudra has performed all over the Colorado Front Range, including the Dragon Boat Festival, Parade of Lights, Boulder Creek Festival, Filipino Festival, Boulder Asian Festival, as well as their yearly dance concerts.  Mudra performed in Bombay in 2005 to a sold-out house.  The dance company has a diverse student body, ranging in age from 3 to 65.

Mudras Dancers

Namita Khanna Nariani, who is also a local Denver architect, received dance training in Bombay, India since the age of 4, and has performed and choreographed internationally.  As a choreographer Namita has worked with "Up with People" and was a master teacher at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance 8th annual Summer Institute.  She is also the guest lecturer for the Department of Humanities and the Dance Department of the University of Colorado at Boulder at the undergraduate and graduate level.

Visit the Mudra Dance Studio at

mudradancestudio.us.


Susan Marie Frontczak, Storyteller /  Maroon Bells Morris Dancers /  The Solstice Sword Dancers /  Breathless in Berthoud /  Mudra Dance Studio /  Pipers & Drummers /  Bryan Connolly Extreme Juggling /  Abbie Lawrence, Balloons & Face Painting /  Chris Kermiet, Dance Caller & M.C. /  Patricia Danscen, Guest Caller /  Tina Fields, Guest Caller /  This year’s band: Balance & Swing /  Top of Page




Pipers & Drummers

NCCPB Bass Drum

Performers for this year’s Grand March are members of the Northern Colorado Caledonia Pipe Band.  They are John Wharrier, Paul Landers, Dan Rousch, and Chris Doyle.  The NCCPB is a successful competition band with members from Commerce City to Greeley to Ft. Collins to Boulder and everwhere in between.


Visit the band’s website for more information.  Also on Join Us on Facebook



Susan Marie Frontczak, Storyteller /  Maroon Bells Morris Dancers /  The Solstice Sword Dancers /  Breathless in Berthoud /  Mudra Dance Studio /  Pipers & Drummers /  Bryan Connolly Extreme Juggling /  Abbie Lawrence, Balloons & Face Painting /  Chris Kermiet, Dance Caller & M.C. /  Patricia Danscen, Guest Caller /  Tina Fields, Guest Caller /  This year’s band: Balance & Swing /  Top of Page




Bryan Connolly Extreme Juggling

Bryan Connolly, Circus Knight

Bryan Connolly is a vivacious jug­gler/ acro­bat/ fire-fiend who enjoys mixing handfuls of comedy with heaping scoops of pseudo-mortal predicaments.  Fire-eating, machete juggling, bowling ball balancing and much more are contained within this dazzling delight of danger.


More at Bryan-Circus-Knight on Facebook.


Circus Knight on YouTube


Susan Marie Frontczak, Storyteller /  Maroon Bells Morris Dancers /  The Solstice Sword Dancers /  Breathless in Berthoud /  Mudra Dance Studio /  Pipers & Drummers /  Bryan Connolly Extreme Juggling /  Abbie Lawrence, Balloons & Face Painting /  Chris Kermiet, Dance Caller & M.C. /  Patricia Danscen, Guest Caller /  Tina Fields, Guest Caller /  This year’s band: Balance & Swing /  Top of Page




Abbie Lawrence, Balloons & Face Painting

Abbie at the Winter Solabration, 2012

Abbie Lawrence is an award-winning artist and entertainer.  Following extensive training, Abbie was invited by the Armed Forces Professional Entertainment Office to perform in Italy, Spain, England, Scotland, Germany, Turkey and the Azores.  She founded Mime Time in 1982.


Abbie performs at private and public events for individuals and organizations.  She offers shows, workshops and classes in the Denver Metro area Libraries, and Schools.  She has performed at countless parties and events as a twister and face painter and has been performing at the Winter Solabration since 2011.



Susan Marie Frontczak, Storyteller /  Maroon Bells Morris Dancers /  The Solstice Sword Dancers /  Breathless in Berthoud /  Mudra Dance Studio /  Pipers & Drummers /  Bryan Connolly Extreme Juggling /  Abbie Lawrence, Balloons & Face Painting /  Chris Kermiet, Dance Caller & M.C. /  Patricia Danscen, Guest Caller /  Tina Fields, Guest Caller /  This year’s band: Balance & Swing /  Top of Page




Chris Kermiet

Chris Kermiet has been calling and teaching traditional American picturecommunity dances for over forty years and is recognized as one of the finest callers in the United States.  In 2000, he received the Heritage Award/2000 Artist Fellowship from the Colorado Council on the Arts for calling and teaching traditional American dance, as well as the Westword Best of Denver Award for Best Dance Caller.  In 2009 he was honored as a "Living Legend of Dance"  by the Carson-Brierly-Giffin Dance Library at the University of Denver.  His video interview can be viewed here.  During the last ten years, as well as being in demand as a caller and teacher of traditional dance, he has created choreographies for a number of performing groups and theater companies.


Chris grew up with traditional dance.  His father, Paul Kermiet, was one of Colorado's premier old time callers, and ran a summer dance camp on Lookout Mountain where Chris heard the best callers from around the country.  He learned from all of them, and it shows in his teaching and calling, his broad repertoire and familiarity with traditional dance, and the way he puts new dancers at ease.  He calls at numerous events across the Front Range, and currently leads the Denver English Dance.


Visit his web-site.
He has also been posting his poems on-line at poemofthemonth.us for the past five years.



Susan Marie Frontczak, Storyteller /  Maroon Bells Morris Dancers /  The Solstice Sword Dancers /  Breathless in Berthoud /  Mudra Dance Studio /  Pipers & Drummers /  Bryan Connolly Extreme Juggling /  Abbie Lawrence, Balloons & Face Painting /  Chris Kermiet, Dance Caller & M.C. /  Patricia Danscen, Guest Caller /  Tina Fields, Guest Caller /  This year’s band: Balance & Swing /  Top of Page




Patricia Danscen

picture

Patricia Danscen’s contagious smile and energetic whimsical calling spread the passion of dance wherever she goes.  Her clear and concise teaching and welcoming smile will engage both new and experienced dancers and keep them dancing all night long!  Patricia’s repertoire includes contras, squares, circles, and traditional reels.  She has called dances throughout Colorado and in several other states.


In addition to calling, Patricia plays double bass and guitar, and performed with a clogging troupe for 12 years.  Her passion for dance and music is evident as she hosts jams, co-organizes community dances, and leads dance workshops.


"I absolutely love seeing people smile and having a great time on the dance floor!"



Susan Marie Frontczak, Storyteller /  Maroon Bells Morris Dancers /  The Solstice Sword Dancers /  Breathless in Berthoud /  Mudra Dance Studio /  Pipers & Drummers /  Bryan Connolly Extreme Juggling /  Abbie Lawrence, Balloons & Face Painting /  Chris Kermiet, Dance Caller & M.C. /  Patricia Danscen, Guest Caller /  Tina Fields, Guest Caller /  This year’s band: Balance & Swing /  Top of Page




Tina Fields

Tina in feathered hat

Tina Fields calls contra and other traditional American "barn" dances, with the goal of creating maximum joy.  She is known for her effervescent sparkle, great sense of timing, clear projection, singing style, patience with new dancers, collaborative way of working with bands, and comfortable humor.  Tina brings day job skills as a college professor to her dance teaching.  She is also a singer, myth-loving storyteller, and ceremonial facilitator.  She has been on staff for various dance camps as both contra caller and songleader.  More at Tina’s website.

Tina has published an article chronicling some of her family elders’ involvement with square dancing in the 1950’s rural west.  Read it here:  http://www.cdss.org/programs/cdss-news-publications/cds-online/square-dance



Susan Marie Frontczak, Storyteller /  Maroon Bells Morris Dancers /  The Solstice Sword Dancers /  Breathless in Berthoud /  Mudra Dance Studio /  Pipers & Drummers /  Bryan Connolly Extreme Juggling /  Abbie Lawrence, Balloons & Face Painting /  Chris Kermiet, Dance Caller & M.C. /  Patricia Danscen, Guest Caller /  Tina Fields, Guest Caller /  This year’s band: Balance & Swing /  Top of Page




Balance & Swing

Balancd and Swing

Balance & Swing, comprised of Susan and John Reading and Tina Gugeler, have been providing high energy music for dances along the Front Range since 1993. Balance & Swing has also performed at a variety of festivals and dance camps and each individual can be found lurking in other constellations of bands throughout the region. In addition to playing for dances, they have also performed at various festivals and summer events in Colorado including the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, the Peoples Fair, the Renaissance Faire, Westminster Artist Series, the Wells Fargo Culture Fest, and others.


Susan learned to play fiddle in New England in the early 70's. She had contact with some of the finest fiddlers in that region and has played consistently with contra dance bands and traditional musicians since then. She relocated to Colorado in 1991 with John and became involved in the traditional music community. Sue has a large repertoire and enjoys playing anywhere, anytime.


Tina, originally from Louisiana, made her way to the Denver area after taking the long way around through Ketchikan, Alaska. Tina started her hammered dulcimer career in Ketchikan in 1986 playing for local contra dances. In 1992 Tina won the Colorado State hammered dulcimer championship and in 2000 went on to win the National Hammered Dulcimer Championship in Winfield, KS. In addition to her work with Balance & Swing, she does solo performances and teaches.


John has the best of all worlds. He gets to play with great musicians, takes his wife with him almost always, and basks in the glow of the dancers as they move to the strong piano bass lines and rhythmic chords he so enjoys. If you listen carefully, you'll hear the influence of his former life as a jazz musician in the Boston area. John is equally at home in many different venues and can play gigs from English Country dances to jazz standards, big band swing to vocal accompaniment.



Susan Marie Frontczak, Storyteller /  Maroon Bells Morris Dancers /  The Solstice Sword Dancers /  Breathless in Berthoud /  Mudra Dance Studio /  Pipers & Drummers /  Bryan Connolly Extreme Juggling /  Abbie Lawrence, Balloons & Face Painting /  Chris Kermiet, Dance Caller & M.C. /  Patricia Danscen, Guest Caller /  Tina Fields, Guest Caller /  This year’s band: Balance & Swing /  Top of Page


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