On Saturday, April 2nd, in New Haven, Connecticut, there will be 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 3:00 to 5:00pm the afternoon of the ball to help people wanting to learn the couple dances.
Obviously, fancy dress (masquerade costume, not just dressing up) based on the styles of the 1880s is strongly encouraged, and Kickery's sister blog Historical Fancy Dress is intended as a resource for costume 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 ($25 per person, or $18 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 Younger children may attend with their parents, and are expected to be strictly supervised throughout and withdrawn from the ballroom if they become too tired/fussy to display polite behavior.
A flyer with registration information may be downloaded here.