First, the music news: Dr. Joanna Manring of the Jane Austen Singing School for Young Ladies (JASSYL) has set up a blog for JASSYL. Click here for the link; we've also added it to our list of links on the right. And we will certainly include it among the sites we discuss at our Lady Day meeting--"iJane: Jane Austen in the Information Age, 2011"--in the Sargent Room of the Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool, on Saturday, March 26, at 2 pm. We'll give more details about this meeting in an upcoming post.
Second, the dance news: Here is a video of the debut of a new English Country Dance that was written for Co-Coordinator Lisa Brown and named after her! “Lisa’s Maggot” is truly an all-Upstate-NY effort: It was choreographed by two dance callers from Syracuse--Carmen Guinta, a chemistry professor at LeMoyne College, and David Smukler, an education professor at SUNY Cortland. The music was composed by a dance musician from Binghamton, Charlene Thomson, who works at SUNY Binghamton. And it is performed in this YouTube video (made by Eric Borresen of Rochester) by the Rochester Country Dancers.
For those of you who may well be wondering about the word “maggot,” it's an archaic term for a whimsical or fanciful dance. The best-known maggot is "Mr. Beveridge's Maggot," because it plays a pivotal role in the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.
Lisa says that the video shows the first time anyone has danced this piece, and there were several beginning dancers participating, so it doesn’t look as polished as some other dance videos. However, your Regional Coordinator is impressed as all get-out by how well the dancers all perform this very complex maggot on their first run-through. And if you'd like to see some English Country Dancing performed in costume, check out Eric's various YouTube videos of past Jane Austen Balls in Rochester--or, better yet, attend this year's edition on Sunday, May 1 (again, more details will be provided in future posts).