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Rediscovering a Dance from Jane’s Time

In early January of this year, BBC Radio 4 aired a program called “Jane Austen’s iPod,” which revealed some of the music found in her personal collection. The timing was appropriate, for nine previously uncatalogued volumes of Austen family music had recently been entrusted to Chawton House Library, joining eight others already in the collection.

One of the tunes featured in this program was a dance set to a Scottish tune called “Donald O’Creedy.” At the bottom of the page was a shorthand description of the dance, which, while incomprehensible to some, quickly tells a student of 18th Century Dance how the figures are performed.

Donald O’Creedy isn’t a common dance among today’s English Country Dance enthusiasts, but our own Tom Tumbusch has managed to locate the tune and reconstruct this lively, easy-to-learn piece from the description given in the BBC program. He and his wife Toni have already tried it out on their local dance group to work out the kinks, and will unveil it at the Dayton JASNA Gala on May 15, 2010 as part of their workshop on dances from Jane’s time. We hope you’ll join us in bringing this delightful dance back to life. If you’ve never danced before, fear not! Many of the dances that Jane enjoyed are easy to learn, and Tom and Toni make it almost as simple as walking.

Program Committee Seeks Ideas for Next Year

The Program Committee is looking for program ideas for next year. If you have an idea about a presenter, a topic, or a venue, please contact our Program Chair, Carrie Bebris at cbebris@carriebebris.com or (937)-436-3716.

Lisa Tyler Retires as E-Newsletter Chair

After many years’ service, Lisa has given up her position as E-Newsletter Chair. We thank her for all the excellent e-newsletters she produced to keep us up to date with District activities, community activities of interest to Janites, and news about Austen books and movies and other events.

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