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September 13, 2008

Regency Dance Workshop - How it went

Last night, I led a program in "real" Regency Dance. All in all, I think it went well--even if I left my video at home. I was able to make up for it with some energetic gum flapping (my particular specialty).

We had an excellent turn out, and only a few people fled in terror once they saw what was coming. The hearty souls who stuck it out seemed to be mostly getting it, and I thank them for their patience and application.

We had an interesting side discussion. We noted the fact that many of the best loved dances in the canon (Mr. Beveridge's Maggot, Well Hall etc.) are not appropriate to the Regency period. The idea was floated of defining a vintage dance genre as being a little broader than "Regency". Perhaps "Georgian" dancing. That could cover George the I (1714) to George IV (d. 1830) - or perhaps just George III (1760 -1820).

This would cover a much broader range and style of dancing -- but first things first. Before we start worrying about the dances of the mid 18th Century, let's work on our Regency stuff.

I'm not sure when I will have a 2nd workshop. The 1st one highlighted areas where I need to hit the books and deepen my understanding of the topic -- but I hope to do it soon. It will probably be on a Sunday afternoon - early evening, and probably in Studio City.

Thanks to Marsden, Sheila and Kris for helping me in getting my points across and to all my attendees for aiding in this great experiment!


Posted by Walter at 07:35 AM

September 06, 2008

Regency Dance - Kicking it up a Notch!

I have often been dismayed by the general state of what we call "Regency Dance" as it relates to "Vintage Dance" in general. All other "Vintage Dance" disciplines, be they Victorian or Ragtime or Jazz Age or Swing, have a clear reference back to their historical roots and make a serious effort to incorporate the essentials of the dance of that era.

This is not the case with Regency Dance. Regency Dance, as it is practiced in California, and in my experience, in other parts of the world as well, is just the modern English Country Dance tradition, as revived by Mr. Cecil Sharpe in the early days of the 20th Century. The steps are omitted and people just walk, and while it is fun and easy and pleasant, it's not history. Perhaps we can do better. Perhaps we can incorporate a little more history into our Regency Dance, while still making it accessible and fun. Perhaps it's impossible, but I don't think so, and I am keen to give it a try.

Continue reading "Regency Dance - Kicking it up a Notch!"

Posted by Walter at 03:12 PM | Comments (3)