EDC Events

The EDC organise several community events each year:

Table of Upcoming Events

You can subscribe to our email notification service in order to receive information about all of our forthcoming events.

Our Annual Early Dance Festival

We host a community focused dance history festival each year; enthusiasts and professionals from across our community perform for each other’s pleasure. A list of our previous festivals can be found here.

EDC 36th Annual Festival Edinburgh, October 2019

Alena Shmakova & the members of Les Danses Antiques hosted a wonderful Festival. The next EDC Circular will carry a full account with pictures. Congratulations to all who took part, and especially to Gaita for their major contribution.

A DVD of the whole show is available thanks to Chris Gill of Norwich Historical Dance. An Order Form is available here.


37th Annual Early Dance Festival

Stratford Girls’ Grammar School
Shottery Manor
Stratford on Avon
CV37 9HA

FRIDAY – SUNDAY, 16 to 18 OCTOBER 2020.

Put the dates in your diary now!

Our Annual Lecture

We host a popular dance history lecture each year. An archive of information on our previous lectures can be found here. What follows are details of our most recent Lecture.

PirateEDC Annual Lecture 2020

Patrons and Pirates: Publishing Dance in the Eighteenth Century

Friday 28th February 2020 7.15 p.m.; Swedenborg Hall, Swedenborg House, 20 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH

Our speaker is Dance Historian and Archivist at New College, Oxford Jennifer Thorp. In 1706 English dancing-masters were introduced to the new concept (for London) of dances recorded in notation and manuals in English on how to read them. That year John Weaver, with the encouragement of two significant patrons, sold copies of his influential Orchesography and A Collection of Ball-Dances … by Mr Isaac through the Strand bookshop of Paul and Isaac Valliant. They did him an honest and successful job but inadvertently signalled to less scrupulous printers that there was money to be made in such publications, by fair means or foul. This talk looks at the ways in which some of the eighteenth-century dance materials that we cherish today came into being and survived – if they did?

Jennifer Thorp is a dance historian with both a practical and a research-based interest in court and theatre dance of the late17 th and 18th centuries. She is currently working on a biography and study of the career of the dancing-master Mr Isaac and has also contributed to the forthcoming books “Portraits of Dancers” & “Dance and the Enlightenment”. She co-organises the Oxford Annual Dance Symposium each April at New College Oxford.

For further information or to reserve your free place, please contact: secretary@earlydancecircle.co.uk or 020 8699 8519 . A suggested donation is £5.00.

Our Biennial Conference

The EDC hosts a major dance history conference every two years. Proceedings are published and an archive of information on our previous conferences can be found here.

We are currently Calling for Papers for the
EDC BIENNIAL CONFERENCE 2020: Retrieving & Reconstructing the Past through Dance

Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd May at St Katharine’s, Parmoor, Frieth RG9 6NN (near High Wycombe)

WORKSHOPS & SHORT PERFORMANCES are very welcome, and they should include a short introductory talk or commentary. ABSTRACTS should be limited to a single sheet of A4 paper, and should include a short biography PAPERS should be 25 mins; WORKSHOPS 55 mins; PERFORMANCES are negotiable.

Speakers might like to consider exploring the following topics, among any others of your choice:

  • What do these dances tell us about the society in which they were performed?
  • What do conflict/war-like dances tell us? Do they betray a bellicose society, or did they serve some other purpose?
  • What do pastoral dances reveal? A search for an idyllic dream? Or a more relaxed society?
  • What can we learn from ballet narratives about society? …………

For contact details and more information, plus further suggestions for topics, click Call for Papers.

NB The EDC Conference for 2018: PERCEPTION AND RECEPTION OF EARLY DANCE, was held 18-2 May 2018 at St Katharine’s, Parmoor. This Conference has finished and work is now underway such that its Proceedings will be published soon.

Special Events:

We host and collaborate on other events from time to time. These can include workshops, study days and additional lectures, as the opportunities arise. Many such projects are undertaken in collaboration with another organisation, do get in touch with us if you have a joint project in mind. An archive of information on our previous special events can be found here. What follows are details of our most recent Special Event.

The 2019 Commedia Festival

The EDC collaborated again with Barry Grantham and Bill Tuck’s Third! Mini Commedia Festival at the Sands Film Studios, 82 St Marychurch St., London SE16 4HZ.

The aim was to bring the sheer fun & dynamism of Commedia to a wider public, of all ages, through performances, workshops and films. For full information see the programme: So this is CommediaMore information about the Workshop on the Elizabethan Jig can be found at Workshop on the Elizabethan Jig.

Photos of the fun and games involved on Saturday 23 February can be seen in our Early Dance Gallery.