Do-si-do, little darlin’. If you are unfamiliar with calls like “Balance and Swing”, “Ladies’ Chain”, “Hey for Four” or the more lively “Gypsy Meltdown”, do not fret. Callers will teach you the moves before you shuffle your feet.
So, what’s the lure of contras dance? It’s learned quickly, because the same sequence repeats up to 30 times in any given song—great for folks with two left feet. Contras isn’t fanciful or pretentious, just plain, simple contras.
However, dress for this event can be “elegant” if so desired. It is a living tradition, evolving from 17th-century English-Scottish dancing, surviving near extinction in 19th-century New England, then slowly spreading across rural America. Now, Salt Lake City has monthly shindigs. At Wasatch Contras’ end-of-the-year potluck and dance, flute-based Bandage a Trois will play jigs, reels and old-timey tunes. ’Tis the season for do-sido-ing, and you are sure to catch some Scottish-infused Christmas favorites.Ladies' Literary Club, 850 E. South Temple, 801-278-8765, Dec. 18, 7:30 - 10:30 p.m. WasatchContras.org, Free
A Muslim, a Christian and a Jew fly into Morocco ... no, it’s not a joke. Music transcends polarization and conflict— or at least that’s the case at the Fez Music Festival.
Director Stephen Olsson documents the 2002 and 2004 galas of sacred music in a film to be screened at the Main Library. The festival, in its 16th year, manifests a congregation of artistic beatitude where people can live harmoniously, celebrate togetherness and, most importantly, perform world-class music. Olsson’s goal: Make a film that deals with the mystical experience but not be trite or esoteric. Check that box. Sound of the Soul captures impressive audio footage, visits a symposium and relates the locale’s history. Morocco, the Islamic oasis of peace and tolerance, hosts performers ranging from all over the world (sorry, Mormon Tabernacle, maybe next year). An Episcopal priest says, “...[The] arts are the most direct and immediate way of communicating profound passions and profound beliefs.” Salt Lake Film Center’s Films Without Borders series brings another profoundly passionate piece.Sound of the Soul @ Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, 801-524-8200, Dec. 21, 7 p.m. SLCFilmCenter.org, Donation