National Centre for Early Music

[Skip navigation]
Navigation Menu

Historical Dance Workshop Weekend with The Nonsuch Dancers, Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 June 2014


Saturday 7 June: 10.00am - 4.00pm

Sunday 8 June: 11.30am - 6.00pm

National Centre for Early Music

Tutors: Darren Royston and The Nonsuch Dancers

Participants explored early dance with tutors from Nonsuch History and Dance, Britain's premier historical dance company. The workshops were open to adults of all levels of ability and appealed to dance enthusiasts of all styles, especially those interested in acting and characterisation. 

The tutors introduced the basic ideas of historical dance and music, as well as the different styles of dance matched to particular Renaissance musical forms.  Participants learned to dance the Saltarello and Bassadanza of Italy, the Pavane and Galliarde of France and the saucy Zarabanda of Spain as well as some of the English country dances collected in John Playford's The English Dancing Master of 1651. The different dramatic qualities of the dances were used to create physical theatre interpretations related to the 16th century Spanish dance drama of The Dance of the Deadly Sins.  The rehearsed dances were accompanied by period musicians led by Ian Hoggart.  

Several of the participants opted to take part in the performance of The Dance of the Deadly Sins with Nonsuch History and Dance at York Early Music Festival on 15 July 2014.

"Excellent scholarship of love of subject evident, which resulted in enjoyment and achievement for us all"

"I liked the teachers being dressed in costumes of the period, showing the effect on style"

Darren Royston is a specialist in dance history, working as dance consultant at the National Theatre, Old Vic Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and internationally. He is associate tutor at RADA in London and a choreographer in theatre, film, TV and opera. As Artistic Director of Nonsuch, his aim is to offer practical research into dances from history in an entertaining and accessible way, and he invites you to explore how people of other historical periods used dance as both a fun social experience and a refined theatrical art.

Nonsuch History and Dance have performed nationwide at venues including Hampton Court Palace, the British Museum and Middle Temple Hall, as well as appearing on ITV, Sky TV, Channel 4, Comic Relief and BBC Radio 3. They are experienced providers of training and workshops in period movement and historical dance. See www.nonsuchdance.co.uk