→2 Repertoire→3 Schedule
Country & Court - Introduction
Page 1 of 3

England has a long tradition of social dance. It has often shared and exchanged dances with other countries which have their own traditions, particularly in the British Isles, Europe and America. Some of the dances were danced by the gentry in ballrooms and others by the country folk on village greens. With the Industrial Revolution and the concentration of peoples in towns and cities the tradition was in danger of being lost, but a revival early in the last century led by Cecil Sharp has ensured that the enjoyment of social dancing survives.

English Miscellany is one of the few folk groups in England that give displays of country dances, as well as dancing them for fun in barn dances and other social events. We wear a variety of costumes in the style of the late nineteenth century, and perform a range of dances: from those that may have been danced on village greens four hundred years ago, to those that have been written only recently. England is fortunate to have a folk tradition that is still living, with the old dances still remembered and enjoyed and new ones continually being tried out.

We perform some of the more complicated dances on their own, and we join simpler dances together in sequences to present a contrast of styles and patterns to an audience. The group also performs court dance from the Playford era (late seventeenth to early eighteenth century). These have a statelier style than the country dances, though they often involve brisk movement as well. We display these in suitable locations, wearing a costume in early eighteenth-century style.

Many people in England are now keen to take part in informal folk dancing. English Miscellany holds barn dances to encourage this, as well as displaying those dances most suited to organized presentation. Several members of the club are experienced barn-dance callers, and many of the musicians are experienced members of dance bands.

Our repertoire for this year is on the following page; please click here or on the 'Repertoire' button at the top of the page.

This page can show a short clip from our dances.

English Miscellany practises regularly throughout the year:
Country and Court dance: on Wednesday from 8:00 p.m. to 10:15 p.m., three times per month at East Hyde Village Hall

Click on a picture to see the full image