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Williamsburg Rose

 Court & Country -
the 17th Century

We all frolic here at Court, with much dancing of Country Daunces
before the Queen's Majesty, who is exceedingly pleased therewith."


Whether in the palaces of Elizabeth I,
or in the earliest settlements in the New World, dancing was an important part of court ceremonies, town celebrations or rural village fairs. From simple round dances done by cottage lads and maids to genteel longways sets suited to a courtier's Manor Hall, the ladies and gentlemen of Tapestry bring to life the vibrant Country dances and stately Court choreographies that were favrorites of both commoner and gentry at their festivities inthe Old World and the New.

"They bid us
to the English dancing-schools,

And teach Lavotas high,
and swift corantos"

- Shakespeare

Both Henry VIII and his daughter Elizabeth were patrons and advocates of courtly dance, as well as royal participants.

Queen Elizabeth was known to have favored the energetic galliard, and danced a few measures of that dance upon arising each morning, for the pleasure of the exercise it gave.

From their courts, we also perform the athletic galliard, and the naughty lavolta - a dance adored by Elizabeth, but banned by the French king. From the "English schools", our repertoire includes processional pavans, allemandes, corantos, and from Italy, playful and flirtatious balli. As a merry contrast to the dances of the nobility, we also enjoy the bransles and heys, dances of the common folk. And, borrowing from the village greens, we tread measures, and step the figures of many well-loved English country dances.





Join the Dance!
Participation - Performances

For further information on historic dance or costume, contact [email protected]