Sunday, August 15, 2010

Playford Dancing

Playford Dance Practices are held at 5 pm on the first and third Sundays of the month.
Downstairs at the Carnegie Centre, 110 Moray Place.
Come with a partner or on your own.
Phone Jonathon 4531947 for more information.

Music and directions for the English Country Dances that we practice, can be found here.
Doing a search on Goggle, or YouTube, can also find useful material.
Dancers on on YouTube may do the dances slightly differently than us, but the videos do give the general idea.

Current Dances:
Heart's Ease
Black Nag (not on Del web-site)
Merry Milkmaids
Cuckolds All In a Row (YouTube)

Friday, July 9, 2010

DScene "Join Our Club" Article

Dunedin Medieval and Renaissance Society

The Past
The Dunedin Medieval and Renaissance Society was formed in early 1209 – sorry,
that’s 2009 -by a group of early music and dance enthusiasts who wanted to explore the
rich cultural resources of the medieval and renaissance periods in a fun, inclusive and
community-oriented way.

The Present
The Society has quickly evolved a number of active interest groups, including the Rare Byrds
early music ensemble, the Playford Dancers (a seventeenth-century dance group), and a
renaissance rapier fencing school. Our current membership is around 30 regular participants
plus a rapidly-growing list of people interested in specific events.
Each year in June, the Society hosts medieval midwinter festivities with a concert of early
music and a programme of talks and demonstrations. This year the theme was Choreomania
(“dance madness”) and the concert featured medieval, renaissance and baroque dance
music performed on period instruments such as recorder, viol, spinet, harpsichord, and an
amazing Swedish string instrument called the nyckelharpa. Our concert is always followed
by complimentary biscuits and the one medieval culinary item most essential to a Dunedin
winter: mulled wine. The associated programme at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery included
dance classes, a puppet show of Jonah and the Whale, and guest speaker Sandra Clair, who
gave a fascinating presentation on renaissance herbal medicine, complete with a chance to
view a rare sixteenth-century medical compendium, the oldest medical book in New Zealand.
Past events have included a Celtic pilgrimage to Quarantine Island, a Christmas Revel/dance
party, and a puppet play of Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus. The Society strongly believes
in engaging with other community groups, and we have formed good creative partnerships
with the musicians of Panache, dancers from Les Belles Vilaines, Jack Frost Morris, and
the Ceilidh Club, and the puppeteers of the Dunedin Rudolf Steiner School. The Society
welcomes participants of all ages and interests, whether you are keen to wield a rapier, or
prefer to dance an elegant pavane, or just want to sit back and take in the period atmosphere.

The Future
Upcoming events include a community radio presentation on alchemy, due to air on Toroa
Radio in September and a Christmas Feast and Playford Ball in December.
If you would like to join in one or more of our activities, if you want to be kept informed
of our events, or if you belong to another group which would like to do something in
partnership with the Dunedin Medieval and Renaissance Society, please contact Jonathan
on 453 1947 or email Though we have our reservations about
the modern world (especially computers, which are clearly demonic), we reluctantly concede
that technology has its uses! You can check out some of the Society’s recent events by visiting
our blog at, or just google “medieval Dunedin.”

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rare Byrds

Clockwise from top left:
Simone Petrich (nyckelharpa)
Ana Good (mezzo soprano)
Aart Brusse (recorders)
Alan Edwards (spinet)
Jonathon Cweorth (recorders)
Helan Edwards (alto)
Anneloes de Groot (recorders)
Jo Fielding (viol)
Chen-Yee Chan (percussion)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Medieval Midwinter Programme Saturday 19 June

Dunedin Public Art Gallery Conference Room
Free admission
All welcome!

10.30am Workshop: French folk dancing, including medieval dances
(Kate Grace, Les Belles Vilaines)

12.00noon Renaissance Puppet Show: Jonah and the Whale
(Medieval Society and Steiner School Puppeteers)

12.15pm Presentation: Renaissance Herbal Medicine and Modern Health.
(Sandra Clair)
Includes a rare opportunity to view a sixteenth-century herbal treatise, the oldest medical book in New Zealand

1.15pm Recital: Dunedin Rudolf Steiner School Recorder Ensemble

1.30pm Workshop: English Country Dances of the seventeenth century
(Jonathan Cweorth, Playford Dancers)

2.30pm Workshop: The Idiot’s Guide to Morris Dancing
(Jules Mann, Jack Frost Morris)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Concert 18th June

The Dunedin Medieval and Renaissance Society
proudly presents


A midwinter celebration of Medieval. Renaissance and Baroque dance music.
Includes works by Nicholson, Praetorius, Strozzi, and Purcell.

Friday 18 June
St Paul’s Cathedral Crypt
Door sales $12/$10

Featuring Panache, Rare Byrds, Les Belles Vilaines, Jack Frost Morris, the Playford Dancers, and Martin Takac.

Belles Qui Pavanent (Thoinot Arbeau, 1589)
Les Belles Vilaines and Playford Dancers

Reading: The Social Uses of Dancing,

The Black Nag (John Playford, 1623-1687)
Playford Dancers

The Jewes Dance
(Richard Nicholson , 1563-1639)

Pavane dan Vers (Anon., 1599)

Slovakian Dance Suite (Traditional):

Two Slovakian Midwinter Carols (Traditional)

Princes qu’en mains tenez
“The princes who hold us in their grip”
(Traditional Breton)
Les Belles Vilaines

Reading: Choreomania (Dancing Plagues)

Ductia (Anon., 13th century)

Tourdion (Arbeau, 1589)
Les Belles Vilaines

Volta Francese (Bellerofonte Castaldi, 1622)

Dance Suite (Michael Praetorius, 1571-1621)

Harpsichord Dances
Round O Minuett (Jeremiah Clarke 1674-1707)
La Volta (William Byrd, 1540-1623)

Reading: Against Dancing
(The Lawes and Statutes of Geneva, 1643)

Lillibulero (Traditional)
Jack Frost Morris

Gigue pour deux clavecins
(Gaspard Le Roux d.1707)

Chi brama amore “Love’s Forgiveness”
(Barbara Strozzi, 1619-1677)

Reading: Dancing Queens

I attempt from love’s sickness to fly
From The Indian Queen

Chaconne for two recorders
Canon from Diocletian

Sing, sing while we trip it
From The Fairy Queen
(Henry Purcell, 1659-1695)

Belle qui tiens ma vie
“The beauty who holds my life captive”

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rare Byrds To Play In Museum : 14 Feb

Members of Rare Byrds performed at the Dunedin Theosophical Society opening in 2009. L-R: Aelred Edmunds, Anneloes de Groot, Jonathan Cweorth, Simone Petrich; Seated: Jo Fielding