About the course
Characterised by an easy elegance, noble air and gracious manners, the dances of French court have developed as a refined expression of the union of masculine and feminine virtues. They are also fascinating and provide an enjoyable way to exercise both mind and body. So why not come along and gain some insights into the French cultural heritage - history, music, manners, costume and the ever-youthful art of dance?
The Course will conclude with our Summer Ball, providing a chance for course participants, friends, family and anyone with an interest in early dance to come along, see the dances learnt, and join in some delightful dancing for all.
The Renaissance dance course traces French dances from the early basse danse of 15th century Burgundian court to the colourful and varied repertoire of provincial & aristocratic dance as described by Thoinot Arbeau in the later 16th century.
The Baroque dance course will focus on the noble dance style developed at the court of Louis XIV. Elegant, disciplined & musically precise, an exploration of the key French baroque dances (Minuet, Bourrée, Gavotte) reveals unique insights into the aesthetics, manners, music & technique which laid the foundations of classical ballet.
Each day there will be a pair of morning Renaissance sessions & one afternoon Baroque session. They can be taken separately or combined. Students new to early dance are encouraged to attend the Wednesday sessions, which introduce steps & terms used subsequently. Dances range from sedate to energetic, and each session will include warm-up exercises, deportment, steps, movements and dance figures. (See Schedule)
No previous dance experience is required, nor do you need to bring a partner.