Three years ago I discovered for myself a school of historical dances, which was in our city. I was interested in previous ages, so I started to visit these trainings as well as balls, concerts and other events. There were two main dance directions – XVIII and XIX centuries. That was great, but I wanted to try also dances, which were popular before, for example, during Renaissance. Unfortunately, «teachers» told me, that they had already learned this style and they were not interested in it. Last year the school was closed. Some «students» continue to learn XIX century dances. I didn’t joined them. Several times I learned dances for our Victorian picnics, but that’s all about my XIX century.
Meanwhile I asked my friend to send me an information about dances in XV and XVI centuries, which he had. I found two dances for one person, learned them and made a performance for a festival in our city. But the most part of Renaissance dances included two dancers or more. Festivals of historical dances and balls in other cities dealt with XVIII, XIX and XX centuries (again), that’s why I realized, that I have to create my own occasion. I organized picnics, photo exhibitions, some other events, so I decided, that I have enough experience for it.
First of all I didn’t want to make something like our Victorian picnics, where everyone wears anything he wants. I preferred to see Renaissance style only. There was a problem with it, because you can’t just open your wardrobe and choose something, that looks like XV century (of course, if you are not a fan of it). You also can’t go to a shop and buy this kind of dress. What you can is to buy historical costume in Internet or to ask a tailor to make it for you, but it’s expensive. That’s why I started to find people, who could sew dresses with their own hands. The first of them was I. I decided to make three costumes: for me, for my boyfriend and for my friend. Then I asked my acquaintances, who were interested in dances or sewing. Some of them agreed to take a part in my dance event.
Why didn’t I announce this party widely? Because I wanted to avoid people in casual clothes. To be honest, I’m sick and tired of them during Victorian picnics. We work hardly to create an atmosphere of the age and those people always ruin it thanks to their view, their behavior. I think you shouldn’t visit an event, if you are not ready for it. This reason made me to search a place, where nobody could disturb us. I also didn’t want to pay for it (it’s not a problem for me, but I wasn’t going to receive money from other members). Fortunately, I remembered a family, who had a big house, called Castle. Actually, it didn’t look like a castle, but it wasn’t important for me. Once I was dancing there during a concert, which they organized at home. I asked them to give a hall for us and offered to join our party. Likely, they agreed.
When we chose the day, I started to learn dances, find a music and sew costumes. What about the clothes, I decided to make true reconstruction. It meant that I had to find a cloth, which looked like in XV century, had to find historical patterns and had not to use a sewing machine. My boyfriend didn’t want me to make «true» costume for him, so I sewed with my hands only twice – when I made my and my friend’s dresses. It was the first reconstruction in my life, that’s why I had some problems with my hair accessories, but I was happy, that my dress looked good. Meanwhile my friends was making their costumes.
I chose 9 simple dances for the party and was going to show them during it. But when I tried to dance them with my boyfriend (who visited dance school with me before), I realized, that the explanation took too much time. So I decided to make two lessons for other members before the event, where I could show the most difficult dances. I’m not sure, that these lessons helped, but thanks to them I got an opportunity to dance with other people more.
Finally our party has begun. We were dancing about 3 hours. Was I satisfied with it? I’m not sure. It seemed to me, that I was the only one, who really enjoyed dances. And I’d like to thank my friends, who joined this party, even if it wasn’t interesting for them. I realized that I have to find enthusiasts like me to make good dance events. Maybe I’ll try next year.