Past Special EDC Events

Table of Special Events

The remarkably talented Mr Weaver presents…

An evening of the 18th-century dance & music with The Weaver Ensemble.

The Weaver Ensemble, led by Evelyn Nallen, offers an evening of music, song, and dance from the London stage of the 1700s, focused on the works of the celebrated English dancer, choreographer, and scholar, John Weaver, 1673-1760. The Weaver Ensemble will present two productions “The Loves of Mars & Venus” and “The Loves of Pygmalion”. They are not reconstructions, but celebrate Weaver’s contribution to the history of dance. They are devised by Evelyn Nallen and Stephen Wyatt, and scripted by Stephen Wyatt, with a performing team of an actor, two dancers, and four on-stage musicians. Productions use original 18th – century choreographies. This is not the work of John Weaver, but offers a glimpse into the pleasure early dance can offer modern audiences. Artur Zakirov joins the Weaver Ensemble in the new year, taking over leading roles in Pygmalion and The Loves of Mars and Venus.

Celebration of the Music & Dance of Ignatius Sancho

The Early Dance Circle prepared a special programme of dance and music composed by Ignatius Sancho (c. 1729 – 14.12.1780) for the 14 December 2020.

Sancho is famous nowadays as a man of letters and the first African to vote in a British election. Now you can enjoy reconstructions of Sancho’s choreographies and music by the Hampshire Regency Dancers, Quadrille Club and Green Ginger, as well as discussions and interviews with some knowledgeable experts on his career. The premiere of the programme was broadcast on the EDC Facebook page and YouTube channel, it remains available to watch now. You can see the video here:

The 2019 – 2020 Commedia Festivals

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. Events included Workshops and an evening of Commedia Performances at Sands. Photos of the fun and games involved can be seen in our Early Dance Gallery.

Robert Huggett’s Renaissance Footnotes visits Eastbourne International Folk Festival 2018, 4-7 May 2018
Eastbourne International Folk Festival

IMG_0281The Early Dance Circle sponsored a group of early musicians to accompany Renaissance Footnotes to  Eastbourne as a way to reach out again to fellow dancers who might not know about the EDC and the historical roots of traditional dancing. On this visit, 15th century dance was the focus, with all its variety from the grand to the downright playful.

We sent information about the  dances of various periods, where to find classes and the timing and  the  location of upcoming events. The classes and performances were well attended and considerable interest was shown.

A Festival of Dance and Commedia to Celebrate World Commedia dell’arte Day 2018

"Pulcinella's Progress" through Rotherhithe

“Pulcinella’s Progress” through Rotherhithe

The Early Dance Circle collaborated in this celebration held at Sands Film Studios, Rotherhithe, 23 to 25 February 2018.

Zannis were dancing everywhere!

Zannis were dancing everywhere!

Napoleon Bone, the villain of the piece

Napoleon Bone, the villain of the piece

The E15 Commedia Co in the Sands Theatre

The E15 Commedia Co in the Sands Theatre

Commedia dell’arte Day is celebrated every February 25 with performances, lectures, conferences, classes, and other events occurring in cities all over the world. The 25 February was chosen as it is the “birthday” of Commedia dell’arte and of professional theatre. On February 25, 1545, a troupe under the leadership of Ser Maphio signed the first contract of theatrical incorporation in Padua, Italy. The document, drawn up by a local notary, is the oldest extant documentation of actors conceiving of their work as a legitimate industry.

Commedia dell’arte day is proclaimed by the European cultural association SAT, which is recognized by the United Nations as the world’s only NGO dedicated to safeguarding and promoting the tradition of Commedia dell’arte. Events are being planned all over the world. Faction of Fools Theatre Company, based in Washington, DC, is the International Coordinator of those events.

15th Century Dance and the Lute, a Study Day hosted by the EDC and The Lute Society

April 22 2017 at the The Dutch Church, 7 Austin Friars, London EC2N 2HA

Expert speakers discussed the role and influence of the lute as an instrument to accompany dance in the 15th century. The event included live music demonstrations, a dance workshop with Hazel Dennison, a dance display and recital by Renaissance Footnotes, Hazel Dennison, Barbara Segal & Friends, with music from Matthew Spring (lute) & others.

A video record of this day can be found at our YouTube channel here: . It was an interdisciplinary study event for both dancers & musicians, working together.

Renaissance Footnotes take the EDC to audiences in the Czech Republic

June 16-22 

21. MFF, Fry¦üdek-Mi¦üstek 2015 (262)4 musicians from Passamezzo and 10 dancers from Renaissance Footnotes brought early dance to thousands of festival-goers. With the help of EDC, they attended the Frydek-Mistek 21st International Folk Festival, part of the annual programme of Unesco Partner, CIOFF (the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts). 

Many European dance festivals draw huge crowds and this was no exception.

The Early Dance Circle helped sponsor the venture, with 580 participants danced their way through 35 timetabled events, including 26 concerts/performances over what must have been an exhilarating, if exhausting, week. Everyone attending received one of our fliers.

Robert Huggett taught Sellenger’s Round, Pease Bransle and Queen’s Almain to classes of 100 at a time, reaching out to many who had never before heard of early dance. His group danced at a concert for schools that played to 1000 and their 3 performances in the main town square were attended by 1000 to 2000 appreciative spectators. Oh, what we would give for such enthusiasm in the UK!

The leader of one of the groups will be attending classes with Renaissance Footnotes in the UK next year and others too showed a keen interest in how to research early dances. Our thanks to Robert and his group, as well as to Passamezzo, for taking part and for publicising the work of the Early Dance Circle and early dance itself among both dancers taking part and the large audiences who so much enjoyed their performances.

Barbara Segal’s Contretemps visits Eastbourne International Folk Festival

1-4 May 2015
28th Eastbourne International Folk Festival

Contretemps at Eastbourne

Contretemps at Eastbourne

The Early Dance Circle sponsored Contretemps’ appearance at  Eastbourne as a way to reach out to fellow dancers who might not know  about our  website and what  we do. We took information about the  dances of various periods, where to find classes and the timing and  the  location of upcoming events. Our visit was very well received indeed.

See here for details.

 A Special London Dance Class with Catherine Turocy, Artistic Director of the New York Baroque Dance Company

15th December 2012
The Place, London
A Dance Workshop on the “Baroque Body” and “Le Mouvement”

Dancing to the Lute: a day of talks, demonstrations and participation

21st November 2009
The Early Dance Circle in collaboration with the Lute Society
The Dutch Church, London

Big Dance Week – participation in London and across the UK in collaboration with the Dolmetsch Historical Dance Society.

7-15th July 2012
Harlequins at Big Dance 2012 A week of free evening classes and demonstrations culminated in a Grand Concert  and  Regency  Dance at Charlton House, Greenwich, London, who helped sponsor  the event  by donating the venue. Once again, groups all over the  UK developed and  ran their own  programmes during Big Dance Week.

3-11th July 2010 & 5-13th July 2008
Collaboration with Big Dance and the Arts Council allowed us to raise the profile of early dance at a number of events across London and the country.

Step Stately: a Measure in Time — A Concert at the Commonwealth Institute, Kensington, London

10th November 1990
An Early Dance Show in period dress, with music on period instruments and words from period texts.
Forty dances were performed by a troupe of 70 dancers, drawn from 13 dance groups, with 21 musicians.