The heavy snow on Saturday night and Sunday 9th/10th December stayed away just long enough for guests from many parts of the country to get to the Warwick Regency ball and enjoy a beautiful evening in the elegant ballroom in the Jury Street Court House.
Dancers came to Warwick on Saturday evening from as far afield as Dorset, Hampshire, Staffordshire, Lincolnshire and Essex. There were some gorgeous dresses and gentlemen’s outfits on display as the Dance Caller, Frances Richardson, guided the guests through some complex moves including the turn-single, cast, allemande and the poussette. The live music was provided by the experienced period music specialists, ‘Mr. Sayer’s Players’.
Authentic dances from the regency period performed by the guests included The Prince of Wales Fancy, The Savage, The Comical Fellow, and the energetic and popular Roger de Coverley.
During the interval Unlocking Warwick volunteers served canapés provided by Oken’s Kitchen, and drinks including negus punch made from an 18th century recipe. The hot negus was particularly popular as dancers arrived on a freezing cold night.
There was a brief presentation about the strict etiquette of the ball in Regency times, and how Jane Austen had frequently used behaviour at a ball to reveal a character’s true qualities. Then mezzo-soprano Imogen parker sang a contemporary song satirising the changing fashions of the ‘Empire’ period.
As they headed for home, many of the dancers said the evening had been hugely enjoyable. ‘Marvellous’ said one couple who had travelled from Lincoln – ‘we had a lovely evening in such a splendid venue. Thank you, Unlocking Warwick. Please do it again next year’.
Here is a selection pictures from the 2017 Warwick Christmas Regency Ball.