The First Jane Austen Ball Rochester, NY (photo credit Lisa Brown)
“…you shall if you please, name the very day of the ball.”
Pride and Prejudice ch. 9
Well, the day of the ball has been named. Your JASNA Central and Western NY Region and the Country Dancers of Rochester are sponsoring a Jane Austen Ball on April 24, 2016. This will be an opportunity to dance like Jane Austen and her characters.
“You’re getting six weeks’ notice on this, because these people are serious: You’ll need time to make or rent costumes, and practice…” said the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (you will need to scroll down to the paragraph entitled Hitting the floor with The Physical Snob). Serious yes, but Jane Austen fans are also fun-loving and friendly. For those who are a bit rusty on “The Physical Snob,” ball practice lessons will be offered starting this Sunday, March 13, followed by a pot-luck supper. By the time the ball starts, you will be ready to lead off the dance like Fanny Price and Henry Crawford.
The ball will be led by Beverly Francis, an expert on Jane Austen. She has put together a program of period dances, and her knowledge of Jane Austen’s work and times will give a true Regency feel to the ball.
The nationally known group Childgrove from Ann Arbor MI will provide music. Childgrove has Debbie Jackson on piano, Anne Ogren on violin and viola, and Martha Stokely on oboe, pennywhistle, and recorder. Together these three have brought the music of Jane Austen’s time to people all over the country.
The ball will be held at the Memorial Art Gallery Ballroom in the old Cutler Union building. Built in 1933, Cutler Union was the original women’s dormitory for the University of Rochester. On the outside the building is in the neo-Gothic style (think Northanger Abbey), and inside it is pure elegance.
Memorial Art Gallery, Cutler Union Building
So prepare to step into the pages of Pride and Prejudice. A full Jane Austen experience awaits you at the Jane Austen Ball. Full details of the event can be found at the website of the Country Dancers of Rochester: cdrochester.org.