Statewide: 42 Years and Counting
By Larry Getchell
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At the 19th Annual Statewide Festival, folk dancers will be celebrating the final 'teen year of these annual festivals and San Jose is where it all will take place, with their "Dimension in Dance," May 29, 30, and 31, 1964.
As recently as 1961 the Peninsula Folk Dance Council as hosts gave us a great Statewide but Jack Stankey, General Chairperson and his very large Committee promises us an even better show and the results bear them out.
The Sainte Claire Hotel would again be headquarters with the Civic Auditorium handling the Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon dance programs. After Parties along with Kolo or Balkan dances would take place at McCabe's Hall as well as the Saturday afternoon Institute. That's for starters.
Sunday afternoon, in the Civic Auditorium, during a break in the dance program from 3:00 until 3:30 p.m., we were entertained by what was referred to in the program as "Wedding of Nations." Most saw it as a very fine costume parade, starting with a Hungarian Wedding Dance group, then smaller groups including Balkan, German, Greek, Netherlandic, Polish, Scandinavian, and many others. A very fine show indeed.
The Saturday night Concert in the Auditorium was a new approach to exhibitions in their finest form. Starting at 8:00 p.m., they presented in a most professional style, 2-1/2 hours of performances, by groups from every section of the state. We would hesitate to guess the time and cost that went into the costuming.
Each person attending the performance was issued a program that in itself was an example of the detail, thought, and work that went into the planning of this excellent show. A quite large program, the interior showed very good pictures of the performers in their colorful costumes. It is difficult at this time to determine just who to give credit to for all of this and I would guess it was a collective effort. According to the general program, Lillian Cohen was in charge of programs along with Ginny Wilder but after "Art and Program," the name of Marian Gault appears. We'll play it safe and congratulate the entire Committee for a job well done.
Following the Concert, there was general dancing in the Auditorium Saturday night, from 10:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.
At the Installation Breakfast Sunday morning there were hardly enough superlatives given as to how great things were going and we had not as yet seen the "Wedding of Nations." Ed Feldman and Carolyn Wiedeman, presidents of the South and North respectively, remarked that with such fine talent contributing, it makes their jobs a snap.
Bob Chevalier, Past President of the North, had mailed post cards to each Past President, both North and South, calling for them to meet directly following the Installation Brunch, for the purpose of forming a new Past President's Committee. This was done and a good start made toward that end.
The task of compiling this history of Statewide Festivals almost seemed to have no end until I noticed at a glance, this next is the 20th and I can almost say, "They are coming down our block, Ma." Now I think I can keep going for the next twenty-one!
Copyright © 2011 by Dick Oakes