Welcome to the Norwich Historical Dance Website
Norwich Historical Dance was formed in 1984. We are a collection of enthusiasts brought together by a love of the music, costume and dance of past centuries. Our aims are to promote and preserve the knowledge of Early Dance, its place in our cultural heritage, and to enable the enjoyment of such dance by members of the group and the general public. As far as possible the group employ live music, often with period instruments, for their performances with musicians like 'Minstrels Gallery', also in costume.
Have a go!
Take a leap back in time….!
Anne Boleyn lost her heart to Henry Tudor but you can keep your head as you learn a range of dances from the 15th to the 20th centuries
Try a FREE introductory session. 7.30pm on Thursday evenings at Norwich High School, 95 Newmarket Rd, NR2 2HU. Phone to check details.
New! Our tutor, Amanda, will be running five 'one and a half hour' Beginners Sessions on Tuesdays from 15th September until 13th October, 7.30pm - 9pm. Venue: Belevedere Centre, Belvoir Street, Norwich, NR2 3AZ. Cost: £5.00 per session.
Enquiries: Anthea Block: 01603 452732. For more information, please download our flyer (PDF file: 335 KB).
Norwich Historical Dance offer friendly classes under Amanda’s caring tuition with the possibility of performing in costume.
Dancing is a great way to exercise both body and mind to a wonderful range of music, as well as learning about the dances, culture and costume of earlier times.
Broadcast & Journalism students Yaran Zhao & Heting Zhang have created a film about Norwich Historical Dance
Two young Chinese students were captivated by the dancing, the music and the costumes at an NHD event and threw themselves into making a film about the group as part of their studies, with the support of BBC Voices. They came to classes, interviewed dancers and musicians and, at last, filmed a performance in the garden at Stranger’s Hall in Norwich. Their only regret was not being able to show “all the splendid pictures and interviews in the final film”.
Yaran and Heting’s work is now showcased on “Norfolk on Film” at www.norfolkonfilm.tumblr.com. Do take a look at it.
Masked and head-dressed dancers participate in the experience of a 'Jacobean Masque' from the 17th c.
Jacobean Masque Dance Workshop
Dancers enjoyed a day with Anne Daye which was both a dance workshop and an entertaining history lesson. It included some hilarious 'monkey business' as well as the stately court dances we expected. Dancing in masks and head-dresses was a new experience for many and we enjoyed the benefit of live music provided by Jane from 'Minstrels Gallery'.
Norwich and Cambridge Early Dance Weekend
In April dancers from across England enjoyed a weekend of 15th century dances with tutor Jorgen Schou-Pedersen in the delightful rural setting of Belsey Bridge near Bungay in Suffolk. This annual get-together explored the intricacies of 5 dances recreated from the Siena manuscript by Jorgen, who also arranged, created and reconstructed much of the music for the other dances.
Jorgen showed once again why he is a popular and much appreciated tutor as he led us with precision, clarity, and good humour.
Next year's weekend has been booked - see our Events page for details. We're delighted that Jorgen will be our tutor again.
Norwich Historical Dance step back further in time to their previous visits and go to the 13th c., to ensure King John signs the Magna Carta at the 'Barley Mow', Wittensham, Suffolk.
First World War Commemoration
Following on from the moving performances in Diss and at the Early Dance Circle Festival, Norwich Historical Dance will be part of the Edith Cavell Festival, dancing at the Forum, Norwich, on Sunday 10th October, with a range of dances familiar to Norfolk people in the pre-First World War years but we end with a specially created commemorative dance to the accompaniment of popular WW1 songs which highlight the cataclysmic effects of war.
In 2016 we will be giving a similar programme on the theme of the First World War in Swaffham Assembly Rooms on Sunday 21st February which will include ragtime, folk and social dances and music. For more details see the Events page.
Anne Gillian Ward, 1929 - 2014: An Appreciation
Gill loved to dance! She was dancing to the end…. For a fuller appreciation, please visit our special page: Anne Gillian Ward: An Appreciation.
Norwich Playford Ball
Norwich Historical Dance are pleased to announce that they will be taking over the running of the much loved 'Norwich Assembly Ball' starting in November 2016 with their first 'Norwich Playford Ball'. More information to follow and our grateful thanks to Freda for organising the Balls for so many years.
Norwich Historical Dance stepped back further in time to previous performances and went back to the 13th c., to ensure King John signed the Magna Carta at the 'Barley Mow', Wittensham, Suffolk.
Norwich Lanes Fair, 2015
As part of the Norwich Lanes Fair, 2015, Norwich Historical Dance are performing 17th and 18th century dances at Strangers Hall Summer Fair during the afternoon of Sunday 5th July with accompaniment of 'Minstrels Gallery' who play a variety of Early musical instruments. All welcome; no need to book..