Jane Austen Ball Weekend
Our next Jane Austen Ball Weekend will be May 3 & 4, 2014 and will be very similar to the 2013 weekend described below. Judi Rivkin will be our Dance Mistress, with music by Frivolity (Tim Ball, violin, Rachel Bell, accordion, and Jane Knoeck, piano. Registration will open in March. More information will be posted here as it becomes available.
Our 7th Annual in Rochester, NY
Saturday and Sunday, May 4 & 5, 2013
An English Country dance weekend including a Regency period Ball, an experienced dance, practice sessions, and good food!
Eileen Nicholson & John Wobus
We have a printable flyer.
This event co-sponsored by CDR and the Rochester Chapter of the Jane Austen Society of North America.
Schedule of Ball and pre-Ball events
March 3: Regency Fashion Show, 1 pm. at Wood Library, 134 N. Main St., Canandaigua, NY; costumes available for rental.
April 7, 14, 21 & 28: Ball preparatory sessions, 3:30—5:30 pm, at our regular English dance location. $5 per class.
Saturday, May 4 (all events at our regular English dance location):
3:00—5:30 pm: Ball practice for all (led by Tom Amessé), followed by a potluck dinner (all welcome; food contributions encouraged but not necessary).
7:00—10:00 pm: Experienced English dance. An evening of challenging but rewarding dances and old favorites, not limited to the Regency period. Solid familiarity with English country dancing assumed — basic figures will not be taught and walk-throughs will be minimal.
On Sunday, May 5, we will repair to one of Rochester’s most elegant country clubs:
10:00 am—noon: Ball dance review, focusing on the more challenging dances, followed by a buffet lunch, and time for dressing (changing rooms available).
2:00—5:30 pm: the Ball, at the same location, with sumptuous refreshments mid-way.
6:00 pm: an informal dinner at a local restaurant for as many as will. Advance signup unnecessary.
Jane Austen Ball Dance Program
|Draper’s Gardens||Jack’s Health|
|Draw, Cupid, Draw||Lord of Carnavon’s Jig|
|Excuse Me||Mr. Beveridge’s Maggot|
|Fair and Softly||Newcastle|
|The Garter||The Pursuit|
|Halfe Hannekin||Round About Our Coal Fire|
|Hole in the Wall||St. Margaret’s Hill|
Directions for the dances (in PDF format) can be found here. Links in the above table are to videos of the dances. In many cases these are not polished performances, but they will give you a visual idea of how the dances go.
DVDs of previous balls are available by mail order, click here for details.
Long before Tom Amessé discovered English Country Dance, he pursued several interests which included both American History, and Acting — if he seems a natural on stage, some of the credit goes to his having acted in local community theater! He has been calling English Country dances for over a decade, having studied with Scott Higgs, Beverly Francis, Paul Ross, Bruce Hamilton and Gene Murrow. With regular calling engagements in North Jersey and Staten Island (his home), he has also emceed New Haven’s Elm City Assembly, the Binghamton Ball, two New York Playford Balls (with Gene Murrow), and Twelfth Night Assembly in Staten Island.
His clarity and easy-going style has helped him become a favorite among a large group of dancers in the New York/New Jersey area. We are happy to welcome him back for a second year as our dancing master.
Our musicians for the Ball and the Sunday morning practice are Serendipity, a richly instrumented English Country Dance band composed of Lisa Bueno of NYC on violin, Laurel Sharp of Syracuse on whistles, recorders and oboe, Laurie Williams of Newark, NY on flute, and Barb Seppeler (also of Newark) on piano.
Playing for the Saturday afternoon practice and the Saturday evening experienced dance are two of Western NY’s most popular musicians, Eileen Nicholson on violin and John Wobus on piano.
The last day to register was April 29; registration is now closed.
Please address any last minute registration-related communications to BallRegistrar@CDRochester.org.
Dancers must already be familiar with English Country Dancing. We strongly encourage dancers to attend our prep sessions and study the Ball instructions & videos online, as there will be limited teaching during the Ball. Dancers will give themselves—and their partners—the greatest pleasure if they are thoroughly familiar with the afternoon’s program before the Ball.
Regency period attire is ideal, otherwise something formal or dressy. Consider coming to the Regency fashion show on March 3, and viewing Lisa Brown’s Guides to Dressing for a Regency Ball for women and men.
Hospitality & Housing
We can accommodate a limited number of out of town visitors in the homes of local dancers. See Contact information. A list of area hotels is available here.
Raffle & Auction
A raffle and a silent auction will be held during the Ball, as in previous years, with proceeds going to support the Ball. Contributions (especially of items related to Jane Austen, England or the Regency period) are welcome, and may be brought directly to the Ball or to any of the local English dances.
For general questions, contact the registrar by e-mailing BallRegistrar@CDRochester.org or phoning 585-442-4681.
To request local hospitality, e-mail BallHousing@CDRochester.org, or phone Kathy Zager at 585-381-6856.