"That the Miss Lucases and the Miss Bennets should meet to talk over a ball was absolutely necessary; and the morning after the assembly brought the former to Longbourn to hear and to communicate."--Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
(Well, OK, it's the evening after, but cut us some slack.) Herewith, some photos from yesterday's 2011 Rochester Jane Austen Ball, co-sponsored by the Country Dancers of Rochester and JASNA Rochester. The afternoon began with an energetic demonstration of Morris dancing; it was May Day, after all, so some use of bells and sticks to encourage Mother Earth was appropriate!
After the Morris demonstration, Lisa Hoffman and JASNA Rochester Regional Coordinator Celia Easton practiced their steps...
...while JASNA Syracuse Co-Coordinator Lisa Brown made sure that Ball registrar Richard Sauvain looked his very best.
But all worries were forgotten as the Grand March began.
While the dancers disported themselves, the occupants of "Chaperones' Corner" also enjoyed themselves (from left: D. C. Bancroft, Carlotta Carson, and your Regional Coordinator). The recent Royal Wedding was of course discussed; although we agreed that the bride and groom looked wonderful, and wished the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge well, the trend toward "space alien" hats among younger female guests was roundly deplored!
Ms. Bancroft also showed that no lady is proof against the blandishments of a gentleman in a particularly elegant waistcoat. (The two repaired to the dance floor for the dance called "The Bishop" shortly thereafter!)
In addition, we appeared to be favored with the presence of some actual characters from the novels. The "Misses Kitty and Lydia Bennet" were certainly enjoying themselves...
but "Miss Catherine Morland" seemed a little dubious about "the Rev. Henry Tilney's" repartee...
and "the Rev. Edmund Bertram" looked rather wistful as he searched for a "Miss Mary Crawford" in the whirling throng.
The dancing, viewed from the gallery above, was most elegant.
The "acorn and oak" setting for the Ball was decorated in a most Anglophilic manner.
And this gallant officer of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers certainly threw some "body English" into the dance just before the intermission, "The Sun Assembly"!