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Barn Dances, Ceilidhs and Knees Ups: Social Folk Dance in England, 1945–2020 by Chloe Middleton-Metcalfe

  • Date: 12th Feb 2020
  • Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regents Park Road, London NW1 7AY
  • Organiser: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library
  • Website

Lecture starts at 7.30pm

What has folk dancing got to do with Butlins holiday camps? Or the British Royal Family? Why do people think that folk dancing should be fun? Why are all the dances walked? Why are callers reluctant to call themselves teachers? Why is English folk dance not taught in schools anymore? What has any of this got to do with Englishness and national identity? In this illustrated talk Chloe Middleton-Metcalfe will select the most interesting and challenging stories from her PhD. Valiantly battling against years of academic marginalisation she will present an array of fascinating stories about the most theoretically neglected English ‘folk’ dance form.

Chloe Elizabeth Middleton-Metcalfe is completing her PhD thesis on the subject of English social folk dance. This was completed at the University of Roehampton under Professor Theresa Buckland and Dr Sara Houston. She is an experienced lecturer for both non-specialist and academic audiences and has contributed to three published conferences proceedings on subjects including gender and social folk dance, morris dance costume, and English national dress. The Routledge Companion to English Folk Performance (forthcoming) will include a chapter about the dance theories of Douglas Kennedy, director of the EFDSS between 1924-1961. Chloe came to dance research through an interest in folk costume and runs the English Folk Costume Archive. This is currently accepting donations of performative dance costumes and related ephemera.