On Saturday, March 24th, in New Haven, Connecticut, there will be held a fancy dress ball in the style of the 1880s, featuring live music, Victorian dancing, refreshments made from historical recipes, and a chance to bring fancy dress costumes to life!
The ball will be held from 8:00 to 11:30pm at beautiful Pratt Hall, less than a block from the New Haven Green and only a few blocks from the historic Yale University campus. The dancing will be precepted by dance historian and teacher Susan de Guardiola with live music by the noted dance trio Spare Parts, heard recently on the soundtrack of the film Bright Star. The dances will be a typical Victorian mix of couple dances (waltz, polka, schottische, galop) and set dances (contras, quadrilles). All set dances will be taught during the evening, and there will be a workshop from 2:00 to 5:00pm the afternoon of the ball to help people wanting to learn the couple dances.
Fancy dress (masquerade-type costume, not just dressing up) based on the styles of the 1880s is strongly encouraged. Note that this includes styles of any previous era (Civil War, Regency, Colonial, Medieval, Renaissance, etc.) Kickery's sister blog Historical Fancy Dress is intended as a resource for costume ideas; a good starting point is the article "Fast and Easy Fancy Dress Ideas". The evening will include a procession of costumes. Since this is a fancy dress ball rather than a masquerade, masks are not necessary. To preserve the beautiful floor, please make sure to have clean dance shoes or indoor-only shoes to change into at the hall so as not to track dirt or grit into the ballroom.
The ball is strictly limited to 80 people due to the size of the hall. Advance registration ($30 per person, or $20 for ages 13-21) is recommended. At-the-door prices are $10 higher and admission will be available only if space permits. Younger children may attend with their parents, and are expected to be strictly supervised throughout and withdrawn from the ballroom if they become too tired/fussy to display polite behavior.
For those attending from out of town, a block of rooms has been reserved at the nearby New Haven Hotel, only a few blocks from the ball site across the historic New Haven Green. Reservations must be made by March 7th to guarantee the discount rate. Details may be found on the event website.
Please see the Victorian Fancy Dress Ball website to register (mail or Paypal) or for further details of the event.