Antony is well known and respected throughout the English Country Dance world. He has been involved in several traditional dance forms including morris and longsword, as well as English Country Dance. He has taught in England, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany for over thirty years, and has organised major events in the Netherlands.
He joined the Whirligigs display team led by Marjorie Fennessy in 1963 and met and worked with Pat Shaw at Cecil Sharp House, trying out Pat's researched dances in his 'Another Look at Playford' sessions. Antony was also a member of London Folk which provided the core dancing at the Albert Hall Festivals for about ten years (Pat produced at least two of these shows.).
The link to Pat Shaw has been an important part of his work over the years. He is a member of the Pat Shaw Legacy Group with particular responsibility for the development of the patshaw.info website. With Marjorie Fennessy, Antony edited and laid out the book New Wine in Old Bottles, fifty-four dances by Pat Shaw to old Dutch tunes, published by the Dutch Folk Dance Society in 1996. He has been involved in the lay-out (by means of desk-top publishing and preparing music for publication) of three further books by or about Pat Shaw.
Antony has also published two books of his own dances, An Enchanted Place and Dance to the Music of Time, and other publications with Nicolas Broadbridge and Marjorie Fennessy.
One of Antony's major contributions internationally is his Dance Database www.heywood.nl/antony/dances which is used extensively in the UK, USA and elsewhere. Containing almost 16,000 entries (English, contras and squares), it enables users to search for dances in a particular formation, or containing selected figures, or by author or by source.
Antony is also a long-standing member of the Friends of Cecil Sharp House.
As part of the celebration, the Friends commissioned Hazel Moir to write a new dance, 'Deeds Not Words', to a new tune by the same name composed by Rebecca King. The dance and tune are also published in this issue of CDSS News or you can see them here.
Jen was an exemplary secretary and committee member. She did more than her share quickly and efficiently, and with good cheer. She was 100% loyal to the FCSH: we last met at our July workshop to which she had struggled, despite a knee injury. She was quick to provide whatever support was needed. As a committee, we shall miss her sound judgment, sense of humour and extraordinary ability to dissolve knotty problems.
She loved her dancing and travelled widely in order to improve and develop, so she will be remembered fondly by many people in the folk dance world.
Members will remember the Extraordinary General Meetings of 2016, called to debate the EFDSS' plans for the English Country Dance and Morris classes, which had been led successfully by experienced and highly respected volunteers over many years. The Committee thought members might welcome a report on developments so far.
The reports have been written by the named individuals and do not necessarily represent the views of the FCSH.
Judith De Witt
It's a tricky business running a class to meet the needs of the absolute beginner as well as the experienced dancer and Mike has made a good start. The dancers are keen to learn and participate and all of them are enjoying themselves. Despite EFDSS' laudable investment in publicity, it would be good to have more dancers in the class — and see them "graduate" to join clubs in London and beyond.
Early days with our breakaway Morris group but making progress. We practice weekly on Tuesday evenings from 7pm very close to St Pancras station at Coopers Lane Tenants & Residents Association (communal hall), 2 Hampden Close, NW1 1HW. We are in the process of creating a website and updating our Facebook page plus printing some leaflets so we can start a recruiting campaign. We need more dancers for sure!
John has retired as Squire and comes along occasionally. We have elected a new Squire, Bagman and Foreman (dance instructor). New Squire is Micha Cole-Wilkin, Bagman is Benjamin Walker and Foreperson is Michelle Griffiths (who dances with The Belles). Michael Jewitt and myself support the side as musicians and I have also taken on the responsibility of marketing and recruiting.