English Regency
by Alan Winston

The English Regency, strictly speaking, is 1811-1820; that's the period when George III was too sick with prophyria to rule, and his wastrel son ruled in his stead as Prince Regent. This is the period of Jane Austen, Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, Lord Nelson, Napoleon, Beethoven, and Haydn - major names in literature, war, science, and music. Even the concertina was invented during the Regency.

Regency dancing - with its beautiful waltzes, elegant waltz country dances and quadrilles, lively and flirtatious English country dances - may have its roots in folk dance but evokes the spirit of the aristocracy of Jane Austen's day.

In the workshop we'll do dances from the period and possibly some modern compositions in the style of the Regency. Fortunately for Regency enthusiasts, the Bay Area English Regency Society (B.A.E.R.S.) keeps the spirit of the age alive with both formal balls and informal dance classes and parties. For more information, check out their website at www.baers.org

Alan Winston is the founding caller for the Bay Area English Regency Society (founded in 1985), and leads the dancing at several BAERS balls each year, as well as informal dance parties on the second Friday of most months in Palo Alto.  He's branched out from there into leading other community and historical dances (ECD, contra, English ceilidh, Victorian, early American, early California) , and has achieved national recognition as a caller and choreographer. Alan will lead an English country dance at noon Sunday.

James Langdell is leader of the Divertimento Dance Orchestra, a small ensemble that plays for historical dancing. For more than a decade the group has played music at circa 1800 balls held by the Bay Area English Regency Society and an unusually wide variety of costumed dance events held by PEERS. He sings and plays clarinet, recorders, and piano, and received a BA in music from UC Santa Cruz. He has played for English country dancing since 1979 and was an original member of the Sunset Morris Men in Los Angeles and of  Berkeley's Ellis Island Old World Folk Band. He has sung  in several  madrigal groups with his wife, Danine Cozzens.  He plays clarinet frequently with David Reffkin's American Ragtime Ensemble. He also is active as a conductor of wind bands, including directing several performances a month by the San Mateo Elks Concert Band.

 



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