Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Buccaneers Take Bath

At the beginning of May I found myself drinking Prosecco at 1 in the morning with a very dear friend, debating dance history technicalities over onion tarts. We had just attended the Bath Victorian Ball, and we were savoring the moment. Given that she lives across the ocean from me now, our chances to dance together are was such a treat to get to see her!

Whenever I am lucky enough to attend a historic dance event abroad, I am reminded of Wharton's unfinished novel (and the 1990s mini-series) The Buccaneers. I am usually in a pod of friends--also all American ladies--and while we are quite well trained in the dancing, we never quite fit in with the unique historic dance culture of the place we're visiting. We change partners too frequently, we swap spots in the set between dances, we don't know the "customs of the country" (as Wharton would put it).

But if I do say so myself, we clean up rather well.

At events like this I always feel a bit like Nan and company, shipped off to England to make matches in old society (well, without the pressure to marry a Duke, that is). And I think that pushed The Buccaneers to the front of my mind when I started working on an early bustle period dress for this event (to match Emma's fabulous Huffle-bustle!). The result is a fussy, ruffly, ribbony, shimmery thing, which I promise to discuss in detail soon.

But first, I wanted to share my favorite pictures of the evening: our Buccaneers moment gossiping by a fireplace in the Assembly Rooms. Now all we need is a proposal and a scandal! (Just kidding, we managed to have a lovely evening without either.)

And of course, butt bow posing commenced!

It was an incredible evening, and I had so much fun dancing in the AMAZING Bath Assembly Rooms! What elegant surroundings! Even if I am ever a fish out of water, it's practically worth the flight for the chandeliers alone. 

As always, my favorite part of the evening was getting to dance with friends old and new. It is social dancing, after all! A particularly brilliant moment was Mr. Hart's Lancers, as Emma and I spent a week last summer studying Lancers quadrilles in Denmark. It was awesome to stretch the brain muscles, and to so immediately slide back into being a well-oiled machine. I suppose quadrilles are growing on me after all ;)

I think this was the moment we realized the arrangement for the dance was selections from The Mikado, which we both know well!

such satisfying swoop!
I have to admit, in the States we do our balls on modern time, and attending a more "realistic" ball (with a supper break at almost 10pm) was exhausting! Flopping after the ball was all the more satisfying for it.

Cheers to friendship, dancing, bustles, and intrigue!