dances & concerts


Here are our upcoming dances, but check out the latest news and band adventures at our Contratopia 2.0 blog.


2016/2017 Season: When & Where

October 21, 2016
Northfield Harvest Stomp! contra dance at the Northfield Ballroom in Northfield, MN (7:00-10:30)(w/Robin Nelson calling)

October 22, 2016
Contra dance at Tapestry Folkdance Center, Minneapolis, MN (with caller David Kirchner)

October 28, 2016
"A Contratopia Cornucopia" at the Courtyard & Cellar in Decorah, IA. A concert with food, part of the Water Street Music Series (7:00-9:30)

February 11, 2017
Contra dance at Tapestry Folkdance Center, Minneapolis, MN (with caller Beau Farmer)

March 17-19, 2017
Mid-Atlantic Tour 2017 (w/Ted Hodapp calling):
The Friday Night Dance at Glen Echo Park, Glen Echo, MD (March 17);
Annapolis Contra Dance, Annapolis, MD (March 18);
Waltz Time Sunday Afternoon Dance, Glen Echo, MD (March 19)
Folklore Society of Greater Washington Sunday Night Contra and Square Dance, Glen Echo, MD (March 19)

April 1, 2017
Contra dance at Tapestry Folkdance Center, Minneapolis, MN (w/caller Ted Hodapp)

To help us remember where we've been we also have a History page that contains a list of what we've been up to for the last few years.


Even if you have a hard time getting to hear Contratopia play live you can still enjoy our music on compact disc or by legally streaming or downloading our tracks from a number of digital music services (including iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, Spotify, Tidal, etc.). Check the CD page to learn more about the availability of Hands Four, Ballroom Echoes, Smitten, and Riff City.

It's probably worth noting that, apart from Contratopia, Pat, Patrice, John and Erik can often be found supplying great dance music with other excellent musicians at Tapestry and other venues throughout the year. In fact all four Contratopia members are musically active in a variety of ways.

Pat has recently teamed up with sometimes Contratopian fiddler Tim Reese and the great Bob Walser to form Northern Aire. You can catch them at Tapestry as well as various dances around the country.

In 2016 Patrice became a founding member of Laura MacKenzie's 10 piece ensemble, Brass Lassie. Their first shows were amazing and they are planning a recording project in 2017.

Erik and John often perform as a duo in concert and at special events in the Decorah area and are regularly heard with the Western Home String Band providing tunes for contra dances in Decorah and the surrounding region. Erik and John have also released (Jan. 2012) their first duo CD, titled Notes from the Farm. You can find this CD at Contratopia dances and also buy or download it online from CD Baby, iTunes and more.

Erik and John are still selling the Contratopia Tunebook, a collection of over 50 original reels, jigs, waltzes and airs. Almost all of the Goodin and Sessions tunes from Hands Four, most of the tunes from Smitten, many of the tunes from Riff City, and four of the waltzes from Ballroom Echoes are included as well as several other tunes that the group plays at dances and concerts. The tunes are in standard notation with chord symbols included and the book is carefully assembled at home using a nifty hand-powered comb binding gizmo. These are available for $10 each plus $2 shipping for each book in print or a PDF copy can be purchased for $6. Either version of the book can purchased here.

John released an instrumental CD of home recordings of original tunes in Fall 2011 titled Mandolin Tunes. It's also available at dances and from CD Baby. John also maintains the Mandotopia website, which contains information regarding his books and compositions as well as links to much free sheet music. In addition John is the owner of the So Many Tunes blog which provides free recordings and sheet music to over 100 of his original tunes.

home the blog the group the CDs contact us