Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend (RPDLW), 1988-2024

Collection number: MC 297
Size: (3 boxes) (1.0 cubic foot)

About the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend (est. 1988)

The Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend (RPDLW) is held every January at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. It takes its name from the man who was perhaps the single most important figure in the preservation of traditional dance in New England and was conceived to keep his legacy alive.

Begun in 1988, the RPDLW celebrates the music and dance of New England: contras, squares, and more. From the beginning, the emphasis has been on preserving the smoother style of dancing that Ralph Page favored. A significant portion of the program celebrates the tradition's roots and includes traditional contras and quadrilles, triple minor dances, singing squares, and couple dances as part of the program. The program also includes a retrospective focusing on a particular caller or musician's contribution to the tradition.

The approach is not only one of preservation; there is a deliberate attempt to connect the past with the future of traditional dance. It also features some of the best new choreography and newly-composed tunes.

Over the years the event has become noted for its cultivation of community, for being a gathering of "the ones who have played the music, called the figures, and danced the dances in crowded, joyful halls for decades," and for being a weekend of outstanding dancing.

About the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend Collection (1988-2020; additions expected)

This collection consists of yearly syllabi listing performers, dance calls, tunes, and workshop notes. These have been digitized and may be downloaded in .pdf format below, along with a master index for 1988-2014. Also included are promotional materials, paper ephemera, and articles on the weekend. Audiovisual recordings of the yearly Retrospectives and raw footage of the workshops and dance sessions can be obtained by contacting the archive directly.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], [Folder], [Box], Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend Collection, 1988-2017, MC 297, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Gift of the Ralph Page Memorial Committee, 1988-2020.

Several other collections relate to directly to the yearly organizing of the RPDLW, including the papers of Ted Sannella, George Fogg, Marianne Taylor, and Bob McQuillen.

Separated Material

Audiovisual materials are stored with the main audiovisual collection.

Collection Arrangement

Collection is arranged chronologically.

Collection Contents

Series 1: Digital files: Master List, Syllabi 1988-2020

Series 2: Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend materials, 1988-2017

(3 boxes)
Box 1
Master List, Syllabi 1988-2001

Master list of dances 1988-2014, Syllabi and related materials 1988-2001.

Box 2
Syllabi 2002-2012

Master list of dances 1988-2014, Syllabi and related materials 2002-2012.

Box 3
Syllabi 2013-2020

Syllabi and related materials 2013-2023, as well as various articles written about the RPDLW.