We took a risk last year when booking the Nottingham Playhouse as the venue for the 2019 Dancing England. Historically, and in 2017, the event was in the round. Would Dancing England work well on stage?
Yes, it bloody did.
What a night! What an audience? And how good was the dancing and musicianship? The venue was superb and you the audience were amazing. Thank you. So warm, so positive, and so vocal in your enjoyment of some of the best traditional dance teams in England.
On the rosta were the following;
- Snap the Norwich Dragon
- The Abbots Bromley Horn Dancers
- Taylors Morris
- Flamborough Longsword
- The Lancashire Wallopers
- Thrales Rapper
- Old Glory Molly
- Earlsdon Morris Men
- The Nottingham Dancing Butchers
- Chipping Campden Morris
- Knaresborough Mummers
- The Leominster Morris
- Orcadia Carnival Morris
- Whip the Cat Rapper and Clog
Each and every team and their musicians performed to the highest standards and entertained the 650-strong for nearly 3 hours. A truly fabulous show.
The fabulous Melrose Ceilidh Band did a magnificent job keeping the on-stage ceilidh dancers on their feet, ably abetted by Rhianwen Davies our caller. Good work!
There were workshops in rapper sword and hornpipe clog courtesy of Vincent, Sue, Aubrey, and Eilidh. Well-attended too, with 3 rapper sets and 10 cloggers all learning from our skilled tutors. There were exhibitions too, with one from Dr. Lucy Wright on Carnival Morris, the Morris Federation’s ‘I didn’t know women were allowed to do that’, Phil Heaton on rapper, with banners and information on the Morris Ring and The Open Morris. The genuine legend that is Doc Rowe provided on a film detailing some of his life’s work spent collecting and cataloguing traditional dance and music in England. Red Cow Music, Denise Bass, and the One Stop Morris Shop provided stalls selling their wares.
Local Nottingham team , Sullivan’s Sword provided some pre-show entertainment with their longswords too.
Support was given by the Joint Morris Organisations; the Morris Ring, Morris Federation, and Open Morris too, both in the form of publicity and sponsorship support. For this we are incredibly grateful. Our Patrons were entertained with a prosecco reception prior to the event to say thank you for their kind support.
Kev Theaker from Written in Film had some cameras around the venue and we’re looking forward to seeing the results in video format in the very near future. To Kev, we’d like to say thank you.
So, all in all, an excellent event. Thanks to everyone involved, in particular Phil for the creative work in finding the teams, Arwen for directing, Megan, Stephanie, and Eilidh for stage management, and James and Richard for tech support. Edwin was your man on the mic on the night. Kevin Holland was an excellent Man Friday and Carol did a sterling job selling programmes and posters.
We’re looking at running Dancing England again in January 2020. Would you be coming along?