For the Ballroom and the Stage
Dances for 18th century France and England
This year we return to the eighteenth century at our new venue, All Saints Pastoral Centre, near St. Albans. The week's study is of la belle danse, the French style of dance which was enjoyed by social and theatrical dancers in all the countries of Europe. With precise steps and intense musicality, the dances are famous for their emergence in the baroque suite: minuet, bourée, rigaudon and gigue. In England, the native rhythms of hornpipe and slip jig continued in stage, ballroom and country dances. Three expert tutors will lead the course, and we are pleased to welcome three specialists to enrich the week's learning.
The teaching programme will encourage individual skill and confidence through daily classes in ability groups with an expert tutor. Afternoon optional workshops will allow dancers to learn further dances with a tutor of choice, pursue further studies such as Feuillet notation or take the opportunity to relax in the house and grounds.
A course booklet will be given to all participants containing dance instructions, contextual information and a bibliography. In addition, CDs of the dance music will be for sale. A bookshop with many of the Society's publications and CDs will be open during breaks.
A full programme of evening activities will be an integral part of the week. These will include talks, a recital and social dancing. There will also be an opportunity to share your own skills of music, speech, dance and humour in a sociable concert. The week will culminate in a Ball on the last evening when there will be an opportunity to present the dances learned during the week to other course members, and dance English and French country dances together. You are welcome to bring an eighteenth century costume to wear (c.1680 - 1750), but this is not essential.
Barbara Segal and Jennifer Thorp will each be teaching two afternoon option sessions. Jennifer Thorp will also present an evening talk as will Jeremy Barlow who will use material from his recently published book The Enraged Musician: Hogarth's Musical Imagery.