This year’s Festival has a special theme “How we bring to life the dance from the past”. It was inspired by a similar question from curious audience members. The theme and the question underlie every workshop and activity during the Festival. “Staging Early Dance” video will explore how the historical dance repertoire is recreated in theatrical settings; practical sessions would give a chance to experience the process guided by the skillful practitioners and performers; “Let’ have a Ball!” will celebrate the social character of the historical dance.

The special event inspired by the question is a panel discussion. We invited Moira Goff (UK), dance historian, blogger, and a former curator of the British Printed Collections 1501-1800 in the British Library; Paul Boucher (UK), a curator and creative director of the historic Montagu Music Collection at Boughton House, Birte Hoffmann – Cabenda (Germany), an experienced historical dance teacher and amateur dance group leader; Katharine Pittman and Robert Weathers, creative leads of the Evening Dance Ensemble at Colonial Williamsburg, a living-history museum and private foundation presenting a part of the historic district in the city of Williamsburg (USA). The discussion will be led by Catherine Turocy (USA), one of today’s leading choreographer/reconstructors and stage directors in 17th and 18th century period performance. Each presenter will share with you their experience of bringing historical dance material as part of the wider cultural heritage narrative in 10 min long presentations which will be followed by an opportunity to ask your own questions.

We hope these activities will help you, our audience, to find the answer!