Commemorating 400 years since the death of Shakespeare.
Dance was part of everyday life in the poet’s time and most of his plays included dancing. We’ll present a selection of easy social country dances from the Elizabethan era.
All dances taught, no partner or special costume required.
Live music by Phillip’s Dog.
Farmers Hall, Main Street, Samford, Brisbane, 4520
Friday, November 4 at 7.30 – 9.30 pm
This year marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Not only did the famous bard leave a superb legacy of literature and drama, his works have influenced our language and perceptions. Dance was incredibly important in Shakespeare’s world – it was an everyday recreation from the court to the tavern. Nearly all his plays included dances, so what better way to commemorate this significant year than with dancing?
Accounts relate that Queen Elizabeth I, herself a keen dancer, encountered rural folk enjoying their own unique dances and was so delighted with them that she decided to introduce these country dances to her court. The dances were refined for the sophisticated life of the court, but they remained the most popular dance form for the next 200 years.
Our programme includes five dances: three which were popular in Shakespeare’s day – Half Hannikin, Upon a Summer’s Day, and Cuckolds all awry, one Benedict’s Wedding which was written by Charles Dibdin to commemorate the 200th anniversary in 1816 , and a modern dance in the traditional style called Puck’s Deceit. We’ve chosen easy dances so everyone will be able to join in.
Despite the first Australian performance of a Shakespearean play in 1800, there is no record of the 200th anniversary being celebrated in the colony. However, a hundred years later a lavish ball was held in Sydney to raise funds to establish a memorial library and commission a statue to commemorate the famous poet and playwright. The beautiful Shakespeare Room is located in the Mitchell Wing of the State Library of New South Wales. The Library holds the pre-eminent Shakespeare collection in Australia, including the First Folio of his plays published in 1623.