From left, Amos Halpin, Nic Gareiss and Elijah Halpin perform at the Algomah Acres Honey House in Greenland June 6. Gareiss offered a workshop that day on flat-footing, a percussive dance style.
GREENLAND — Nic Gareiss held a dance workshop and performance June 6 at Algomah Acres Honey House in Greenland.
Gareiss taught flat-footing, a solo, freestyle form of American dance originating in the Appalachian Mountains. Flat-footing has connections to western European, Native American and West African dance.
“Using the toes, heels and ball of the foot to strike and slide across the floor, flat-footing is a percussive dance style that articulates the rhythms of mountain fiddle and banjo music,” said Melissa Hronkin, who owns and operates the Honey House with John Hersman. “Participants got a workout and basic introduction to this style of dance.”
Gareiss was brought to the area by his friend Elijah Halpin, who recently moved to the U.P. Gareiss and Halpin previously collaborated downstate with traditional music and dance.
He has studied a broad span of percussive dance traditions and performed as a featured soloist with traditional musicians including The Chieftains, Solas, Darol Anger, Dervish, Liz Carroll, Bruce Molsky, Alasdair Fraser and Martin Hayes.
“His work re-imagines movement as a musical activity, morphing dance into a medium that appeals to both the eyes and the ears,” Hronkin said. “Gareiss draws from many percussive dance traditions to weave together a technique in service of his love of improvisation, traditional footwork vocabulary, and musical collaboration.”