of Plenty: Tribute to Woody Guthrie in Dance & Music
with the Vanaver Caravan
Woodys music was often surprisingly connected to various
dance events. As a young man in Pampa, Texas he started out
playing with bands that accompanied the towns social
events; church socials, picnics, gatherings, ranch barbecues
and other festivities. Reels, jigs, squares, hoe-downs and
waltzes were among the dances and rhythms that were a strong
part of his youth. During the 1940s, while living in
New York City, he performed with modern dance choreographers
who were intrigued and inspired to create new dance movements
to his rootsy sound. His collaboration with choreographer
Sophie Maslow on "Folksay" has become legendary
in the modern dance world. "Pastures of Plenty"
recreates Woodys long and varied relationship with the
many traditional and interpretive dance styles of the 1930s
added, "My parents always talked about doing a show like
this, together. My mother, Marjorie Mazia, was a dancer with
the Martha Graham Dance Company and my dad often accompanied
and played for folk dance parties and modern dance performances.
As a matter of fact, my parents met and fell in love rehearsing
one of these shows!"
Caravan's musicians and dancers are known
throughout the U.S. and Europe for their down home spirit
and innovative, high powered performances. In "Pastures
of Plenty", we hitch a ride with Woody across
the landscape of Americas music and dance traditions.
His songs are used as the basis of the journey.
We feel the rhythms and the moods of Woodys people
in their dances: Southern Appalachian clog dancing,
Western style squares and Virginia reels, New England
contra dancing, Harlems lindy hop and New Yorks
modern, interpretive styles.
is a wonderful, and innovative way of introducing Woodys
music to audiences of all ages. Workshops in all the
instrumental and dance styles and school residencies
are also available.
booking information contact:
10 Main Street, Suite 322
New Paltz, NY 12561
photographs by Lois Greenfield © 2006