Belfast Flying Shoes and the Belfast Free Library’s Contra Connections, a four-part series of documentaries related to contra dancing, continues Wednesday, March 28, with “The Other Way Back: Dancing with Dudley” (2007, USA). The screening starts 6 p.m. in the Abbott Room of Belfast Free Library, 106 High St.

This documentary chronicles the career of musician and caller Dudley Laufman, the charismatic figure at the center of a dance revival in the late 1960s and 1970s.  Laufman's influence reached to Maine; his work with the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra inspired the musicians and callers who formed both the Maine Country Dance Orchestra and Maine Fiddle Camp, now in its 24th year.

In venues ranging from the Newport Folk Festival to kitchen junkets at his house in the Shaker Village of Canterbury, N.H., the inimitable musician and caller has brought thousands of people the joy of traditional music and dance. In 2009, Laufman was lauded as a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts.

"Whether you know Dudley or not, this is a tale worth hearing. Folks who consider Dudley as 'the kinda curmudgeonly caller from Canterbury who teaches at Fiddle Camp' may have a surprise in store,” said Belfast Flying Shoes board member Chrissy Fowler. “At the film's premiere 10 years ago, the audience moved through a whole range of emotions, from awestruck admiration to hilarity."

The dance documentary series will conclude May 2 with “What’s Not To Like? A Community Contra Dance” (2002, USA) May 2. Belfast Flying Shoes has donated the four films in the series, along with three other documentaries connected to traditional New England social dancing, to Belfast Free Library's media collection.

Contra Connections: Dance Documentaries is an outreach program of Belfast Flying Shoes, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the first Friday community and contra dances in Belfast. Additional support provided by the Belfast Free Library and a grant from the Maine Expansion Arts Fund of the Maine Community Foundation. For more information, visit or email

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401 or