Today’s programme celebrates Midsummer with an extensive collection of traditional English dance tunes, some of which go back many centuries. Revived today in the form of Morris dancing and related genres such as English Country Dance (ECD), many of the tunes are
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An English Country Summer

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Wednesday, 22 June, 2011

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Today’s programme celebrates Midsummer with an extensive collection of traditional English dance tunes, some of which go back many centuries.

Revived today in the form of Morris dancing and related genres such as English Country Dance (ECD), many of the tunes are familiar and popular today once again, as they were in the 16th century when the dances that became ECD were developed among the gentry, influenced by the folk dances of the time.

We will be featuring some of the work of modern popularisers of these genres, notably Ashley Hutchings, including his Compleat Dancing Master and other albums such as most of the Morris On series, which often interleave (somewhat modernised) renditions of the pieces with readings from contemporary writings illustrating the attitudes of those in authority down the centuries to the popular pastime of dancing – many of which were downright hostile.

In addition we include our fine collection of English country dance music performed by the renowned American ECD Instrumental Quartet, Bare Necessities, and kindly donated to Radio Riel by the Caledon Library, along with some traditional dances from the Baltimore Consort, Childgrove, Brassworks and the Musicians of Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts – and many more.

Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin and produced by Radio Riel in conjunction with our friends at the Alexandrian Free Library Consortium of Second Life. You can listen to the programme in-world now at http://main.radioriel.org, or simply click here to start your player, if your browser is configured to do so. Listeners in the United States are encouraged to tune in using this link: http://loudcity.com/stations/radio-riel/tune_in

For more information on the Alexandrian Free Library, current exhibits and the work of Consortium members in general, please visit the Alexandrian Free Library website, or one of their branches in-world.

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