1867 Masquerade Ball

Join the Revels!

Join us and help us celebrate Canada 150 at an authentic Victorian Ball featuring music and dances from the 1860s. Step back in time and lose yourself in a night of merry abandon as masked dancers create a mysterious atmosphere reminiscent of the famous “Fancy Dress” balls popular in the 19th century.

*All masks will be worn for the Grand March and until “the great unmasking” at the end of 2nd dance on the program.  After that wearing a mask will be the choice of each dancer.

Dances will be chosen from sources from the 1860s and costume can be “fancy dress” as a historical figure or fictional character and any period from medieval up to 1867.

The merry revels will be led by Dance Mistress and Historian, Cathy Stephens with recorded, period music.   Madame Stephens will lead workshops during the day so everyone will have a chance to learn the basic steps and figures of these intriguing period dances.

Workshops and Period Ball will take place in the Conservation Education Centre, located inside Backus Heritage Conservation Area at 1267 2nd Concession Road, Port Rowan.  Ticket price is $25.00 per person and includes  daytime workshops, the evening ball and souvenir ball card.

Book your tickets on-line at:

Pre-Ball Workshops

10:30 am – 12:30 p.m. – The “Mysteries of Victorian Dancing Revealed”

Practice the steps and figures of the quadrilles and other easy to learn set dances and figures from the mid 19th century.  At the same time participants will learn some of the “social” arts including how to bow (men) and courtesy (women), how to ask a lady to dance and how to fill out ball cards.

1:30 – 3:00 p.m. – “Merry Revels” Waltz and Polka Varieties

Learn a few steps of waltz and polka, then use those steps in the Merry Revels Varieties Quadrille.

Masquerade Ball

7:30 pm                     Exchanging Ball Cards

8:00 – 11:00 pm      Masquerade Ball

The Mystery of the Vanishing Dances

Here is an opportunity for Canadian to re-discover dances and social activities that were popular in the 19th century and to ponder why these wonderful dances have vanished over the years.

The program will be authentic to the period and include dances and music that are still danced today (Scotch Reel) and some that are representative of that time period and how they reflect life and times in Canada in the 19th century. The dances are not that hard to learn and do and not that strenuous. If our ancestors all knew how to dance and danced on a regular basis, we can too!

Attending authentic period balls gives participants a unique opportunity to not only learn about Canada’s history but to actually experience it while being immersed in a whole day of period music, dancing, etiquette, costume and fun.

This kind of dance event is also a great group activity that creates excellent community and social spirit. It is very inclusive and accessible to anyone from 7 to 70.  Since the dances are easy to learn, everyone joins in on all the dances, from the grand march to the simple quadrille (early square dance) figures.

There will be expert instruction by Dance Historian, Cathy Stephens, who has studied historical social dance for over 30 years and who has conducted hundreds of similar historical events throughout North America. Mrs. Stephens will lead 2 workshops during the day. She will teach the basic steps and walk people through the simple figures so that they will be able to participate in all the dances at the ball. She will also provide a few background comments on period music and social dance history as well as on ball etiquette of the day. During the ball she will serve as Dance Mistress and prompter.  

Price: $25 per person
Address: Backus Heritage Conservation Area, 1267 Second Concession Rd, Port Rowan, ON N0E 1M0 (Map It) Directions
Phone: 519-586-2201 ext 228

Saturday, October 28, 2017 12:00am

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