Contact: Marcia Poole, director
900 Larsen Park Road; Sioux City, Iowa 51103
‘Dance to the Fiddle’ program Oct. 12 at Encounter Center
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (Oct. 1, 2014) – Live music, dancing and storytelling will celebrate the history of fiddle music at “Dance to the Fiddle” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12 at the Betty Strong Encounter Center. Admission will be free.
Singer and storyteller Ron Johnson, of Dalesburg, S.D., will read from Ole Rolvaag’s “Giants in the Earth,” Hamlin Garland’s “Sons of the Middle Border” and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House in the Big Woods.”
Each story will set the scene for demonstrations of various dances, including the polka, waltz and the schottische by dancers Kate McBride and Craig Shogren and family, of Herman, Nebraska. Fiddlers will be Bill Peterson and Josh Scott and the guitarist is Charley Smith.
In Siouxland, fiddle-playing reaches back to countless immigrant stories, including that of the Rev. Daniel Peter Brown who helped Swedish settlers find land in Clay County, South Dakota.
“After preaching on Sunday mornings, Rev. Brown held dances in his cabin. His friend, ‘Fiddler Johnson,’ played for the dances,” says Peterson, a Canton, S.D., resident.
The free program also will connect to the Lewis & Clark Expedition’s favorite entertainment. fiddle music and dancing are described in the explorers’ journals numerous times, including Aug. 18, 1804, the 30th birthday of Capt. Meriwether Lewis in the present-day Sioux City area. The explorers danced until 11 p.m.
Perhaps the greatest dancing performance on the Lewis & Clark Trail was by French boatman Francois Rivet who “danced on his head” on Nov. 24, 1804, at Fort Mandan.
The Sioux City Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and adjoining Betty Strong Encounter Center comprise a private, non-profit cultural complex built and sustained by Missouri River Historical Development, Inc. (MRHD). It is located on the Missouri Riverfront, exit 149 off I-29. Admission is free. For more information call 712-224-5242. Find the Center on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sclandc