Date: Friday, September 29, 2023
Time: 6:30 p.m. Eastern
Location: Birthplace of Country Music Museum Performance Theater
Cost: Free and open to the public but please register HERE
Join us on Friday, September 29, 6:30 p.m. for a screening of the documentary Reel ‘Em, Boys, Reel ‘Em followed by a live Q&A with filmmaker Becky Hill.
Reel ‘Em, Boys, Reel ‘Em features West Virginia traditional square dancing and step dancing and follows the Mountain Dance Trail as it winds across the Mountain State. Interviews with callers, musicians, dancers, and dance historians, along with current square dance footage and archival footage from Augusta Heritage Center are combined to create a film that celebrates the importance of old-time music and dance. Centuries old dance customs are discussed and revealed in the traditions as they exist today. This film documents the exceptional endurance of traditional dance in West Virginia.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Becky Hill.
This program is complementary programming to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum’s I’ve Endured: Women in Old-Time Music exhibit, on display through December 31, 2023. This exhibit has been funded in part by grants from Virginia Humanities, the Massengill-DeFriece Foundation, and the IBMA Foundation, along with local women-led business sponsorship from Friends of Southwest Virginia, The Crooked Road, Artemis Consulting Services, LLC, Bristol Ballet, Suzi Griffin (Studio 6), Kim Sproles (KS Promotions), and Kayla Stevenson (Matte Nail Bar). East Tennessee Foundation Arts Fund provided grant funding for related public programming, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation provided grant funding for the exhibit’s website.
About Becky Hill
Becky Hill is a percussive dancer, square dance caller, choreographer, community organizer, and educator.
She grew up in Michigan, spent extensive time in West Virginia and now resides in Brentwood, Maryland. Becky has worked with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, Good Foot Dance Company and Rhythm in Shoes, and has studied with an array of percussive dance luminaries.
In 2013, she was involved in Wheatland Music Organization’s Carry It On… Project where she was commissioned to choreograph two works under the mentorship of Sharon Leahy in honor of the festival’s 40th anniversary. In 2014 and 2106, she was awarded a West Virginia Division of Culture and History Professional Development Grant to further her study of percussive dance. Becky served as the Artist in Residence at Davis & Elkins College from 2013 – 2015 where she coordinated The Mountain Dance Trail of Augusta Heritage Center and co-directed the Appalachian Ensemble. She became the Events Coordinator for Augusta Heritage Center from 2015 – 2019 organizing their summer intensives. Together with noted folklorist Gerry Milnes, she produced a documentary film on West Virginia dance traditions, Reel ‘Em, Boys, Reel ‘Em. Becky has organized Helvetia Hoot, formally known as Dare to be Square West Virginia since 2013. She is currently a Programming Manager for the National Council for the Traditional Arts.
Becky directed her first evening length music and dance work inspired by Appalachia, Shift, with an all-star cast Nashville. Shift debuted November 2017 and it expanded for the 2018 Wheatland Music Festival. In 2018 she was selected a fellow for OneBeat, a U.S. State Department Cultural Diplomacy Program and conducted an artist residency at Basin Arts. She completed her M.F.A in dance at University of Maryland, College Park in May 2022. She was an Artist-in-Residence at Strathmore in 2021, John C.Campbell Folk School in 2022, Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts & Sciences in 2023 and Loghaven in 2023. She is involved with Dance Exchange’s Dance On Creative Aging Program, and can be found performing with T-Mart Rounders, calling square dances, and teaching dance throughout the country.
As an avid organizer and teacher, Becky’s work is deeply rooted in the connections between music and community. She believes there is always more to learn and is dedicated to creating innovative choreography rooted in Appalachian music and dance.