The documentary "Dutch Hop!" looks at the unique polka music and dance tradition of the Volga Germans. Meet the musicians, dancers and families who treasure this cultural gem and keep the tradition alive in the Platte River valleys of Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming.
"Dutch Hop!" created by filmmakers Chris Simon and Anne Hatch, features those who treasure the Volga German polka music melodies, including Steve Deines from The River Boys, whose family has played Dutch Hop for more than seven generations; sisters Michele Haddick and LaRae Szafraniec, who were young girls when they formed The Polka Nuts with their dad, Mike Gaschler; and Randy Eckhart who took over his dad's band, the Dutch-Hop Music Makers, and struggles to keep the tradition alive in a changing world.
The film also includes music from some of the top Dutch Hop bands such as The Polka Nuts, John Fritzler and his Polka Band, The River Boys and Randy Eckhart & the Dutch-Hop Music Makers.
The hammered dulcimer, accordion, trombone and bass blend to create unique polka melodies and the 100-year-old dance tradition of the Volga Germans, immigrants who came to the United States from Germany by way of Russia. Along with their agricultural skills, they brought a unique form of music. Viewers meet the musicians, dancers and families who treasure this cultural gem and strive to keep the tradition alive.
Dutch Hop is not the “ump-pa-pa” polka that is familiar to most people. Little known by folks outside the community, Dutch Hop dancers add a bounce to their steps and sometimes an extra hop or a stomp to the smoother traditional polka dance.
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