Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
October 10, 1997
1890s Dance Performance To Be Held in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress
The 1890s come alive again in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress on Oct. 15 with "An Evening of Society Dances and Parlor Amusements from the 1890s." Elizabeth Aldrich has choreographed the program for the Jonquil Street Foundation Dancers, who will present a program of dances beginning with the traditional "grand march" and continuing with a quadrille, Butterfly Dance, cotillion, waltzes and the Washington Post Two-Step. They will be accompanied by the Library of Congress Centennial Cotillion Brass Band, led by Emerson Head and Robert Sheldon, playing on 19th century brasswinds and percussion instruments from the Library's R.E. Sheldon Collection.
Following the 45-minute performance, members of the audience are invited to dance along with Pierre Dulaine and Yvonne Marceau of the American Ballroom Theater.
Elizabeth Aldrich is internationally known for her work as an authority on dance history. She has provided choreography for eight feature films, including "The Age of Innocence," "The Remains of the Day," and the recently released "Washington Square." An author and lecturer, Ms. Aldrich has presented her work throughout North America and Europe.
The free concert is being presented by the Music Division of the Library of Congress in honor of its centennial. The division was created when the Library relocated from the U.S. Capitol to the Thomas Jefferson Building on Nov. 1, 1897.
Social dance of the past makes the leap into cyberspace on Oct. 10 when a preview Web site debuts on the Library's American Memory page at: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/dihtml/dihome.html). It features manuals that trace the development of social dance and its influence on American social life and custom, drawn from the Library's extensive holdings. It shows how the minuet, waltz, quadrille and other popular dances served as the basis for more adventurous ballroom dances, such as the fox-trot, which emerged in the 20th century. The site eventually will feature more than 200 manuals from the Library's collections, dating from the Renaissance through the early 20th century.
All available tickets for the concert have been distributed to the public. Press tickets can be obtained by calling Helen Dalrymple at (202) 707-1940. No photography or recording will be permitted during the performance.
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