Sunday, August 21, 2016

Dance at the Netherfield Ball

The 2015 Netherfield Ball
"It may be possible to do without dancing entirely. Instances have been known of young people passing many, many months successively, without being at any ball of any description, and no material injury accrue either to body or mind;--but when a beginning is made--when the felicities of rapid motion have once been, though slightly, felt--it must be a very heavy set that does not ask for more."

Emma chapter 29

It has indeed been many months since our last ball in Rochester, but another opportunity is upon us. On October 29, your JASNA Central and Western NY Region and the Country Dancers of Rochester will jointly sponsor the second annual Netherfield Ball. 

The Netherfield Ball in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is an elegant event filled with drama and the clash of spirits between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Our Netherfield ball is designed to be a friendly event specifically dedicated to novice dancers who would like to learn to dance like Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy (I just can't bring myself to call him Fitzwilliam).

Here are the details of the event:
Netherfield Ball
When:         Saturday, October 27, 2-6 pm
Where:        First Baptist Church, 175 Allens Creek Road, Rochester NY 14618
Admission: $10
Attire:         Regency attire admired but not required - wear comfortable clothes and shoes

The ball will feature extensive instruction in the art of English Country Dance. Every dance will be called, so you will be guided expertly through each dance. In the 1995 movie version of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet dances Shrewsbury Lasses with Mr. Collins and Mr. Beveridge's Maggot with Mr. Darcy, which are somewhat difficult dances. The Rochester Netherfield Ball will have a program of easy dances tailored for beginning dancers

In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth dances the first two dances with Mr. Collins.

"The two first dances, however, brought a return of distress; they were dances of mortification. Mr. Collins, awkward and solemn, apologising instead of attending, and often moving wrong without being aware of it, gave her all the shame and misery which a disagreeable partner for a couple of dances can give. The moment of her release from him was exstacy." Pride and Prejudice chapter 18.

You will have nothing to fear from Mr. Collins, as experienced dancers will be present to gently guide new dancers through all the steps.

Experienced dancers will be your guide
As the ball in Pride and Prejudice progresses, Elizabeth is forced to sit near her mother at supper and listen to her brag about Jane and Mr. Bingley to Lady Lucas.

"When they sat down to supper, therefore, she considered it a most unlucky perverseness which placed them within one of each other; and deeply was she vexed to find that her mother was talking to that one person (Lady Lucas) freely…At length however Mrs. Bennet had no more to say; and Lady Lucas…was left to the comforts of cold ham and chicken." Pride and Prejudice chapter 18.

Our Netherfield Ball will include elegant Regency-inspired refreshments and much better company, however, no cold ham and chicken.

Elizabeth Bennett prepares carefully for the ball in Pride and Prejudice.

"She had dressed with more than usual care..." Pride and Prejudice chapter 18.

While Regency attire will be admired, it is not required. Dancers are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Of course, if you require accessories for your Regency wear, you can visit one of the vendors who will be attending the ball. Feathers, pins, and jewelry will all be available along with information on the War of 1812 re-enactors.

The Vendors' Tent
Whether you are an experienced dancer or someone who would like to learn to dance like Jane Austen, please join us at the Netherfield Ball. Perhaps Sir William Lucas said it best.

"There is nothing like dancing after all. -- I consider it as one of the first refinements of polished societies." Pride and Prejudice chapter 6.

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