From the Library… English Folk Dance Revived

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Thursday, 8 November, 2007

Today's programme features a collection of traditional 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 of 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 excerpts from 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 other modern renditions of traditional dance tunes – such as one might find performed at a Renaissance Fayre or period re-enactment in the UK or North America today.

• This programme is produced by Radio Riel in conjunction with the Caledon Library in Second Life, and presented by Elrik Merlin. For more information on the Caledon Library, current exhibits and the work of Second Life reference libraries in general, please visit the Caledon Library Web site, or one of their locations in-world.

• Listen to the programme now at http://music.radioriel.org or any Caledon Library branch.

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