Early Dance Circle Festival

Early Dance Circle Festival

After the Ball was Over…

…we get ready for the next one! Norwich is known as a ‘Dancing City’ and with good reason, given its connections with several famous dancing names, including Augustin Noverre and John Eager. The latter may not be as renowned as Noverre but he figured large in Norwich Historical Dance’s presentation at the 35th annual Early Dance Circle Festival held at Norwich High School on 27th October 2018.

Mr. Eager was a contemporary of Alderman John HarrisonYallop who built the Georgian mansion Eaton Grove which forms part of the school. The presentation of ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ centred around these two men, their marriages and those of their daughters. All good fun and a light hearted tale on which to hang the dances of the performance, which incidentally, celebrated the dance group’s 35th anniversary. The festival brought together many dance groups from across the UK as well those who had come to enjoy the delights of watching historical or ‘early’ dance. Indeed there was one visitor from the Netherlands and another from Inverness who had come especially to see the festival.

Eleven groups of more than140 people took part; two from Norwich, for as well as Norwich Historical Dance (NHD), Sasza Zargowski, a local dancing master himself, led his group with “The Dancing Master presents…”.  Other groups presented dances ranging from the 15th century through to the roaring ’20’s, and from Scotland to Spain passing through East Anglia with a dance called ‘The Drayning of the Fenns’ presented by Cambridge based group Capriol.

It was not all high drama and beautiful costumes as there were three intervals of ‘Dancing for All’ led by Amanda Williams of NHD, Liz Russell of Capriol and by local Morris man and dancer, Jonathon Hooton.

The main music makers of the weekend were local early music ensemble Hexachordia who gave a concert on the Friday evening entitled ” The Food of Love”. They joined Norwich Historical Dances’s own musicians during NHD’s performance and for two of the ‘Dancing for All’ sessions. As if that was not enough they also played for Saturday evening’s social dance with Sasza Zargowski as MC.

Thanks to the school and catering staff for all their assistance and wonderful food.

Forty of the festival goers were up bright and early on the Sunday to round the weekend off with a guided walk in the sunshine around ‘Georgian’ Norwich.

As for getting ready for the next dance, NHD were all there on the following Thursday for their next class and are preparing to run their 4th ‘Norwich Playford Ball’ held in honour of Norwich man John Playford, on November 16th 2019 in the Assembly House. So all you dancers out there, get out your dancing shoes, costumes and step lively…!

For more information about the Playford Ball, please visit our Playford Ball page.

Labec Steps 3A