About

Party Like it’s 1651!  Coventry Zesty Playford is a series of fun and lively dances, based in Coventry.  We have great live music and a caller to teach you all the moves.

Dances are in St Barbara’s Church Hall, Rochester Road in Earlsdon, CV5 6AG.  They are 7:30 – 10:30 pm.  Tickets are £9 or £6 for students and under 18s.

Upcoming Events

Playford Tunes Workshop with Andrew Swaine

Date: February 3, 2018

Time: 10:30 til 13:00

Location: St Barbara's Scout Hut

Playford Music workshop: 10.30 a.m.‒1 p.m., led by Andrew Swaine

Any instrument welcome. Dots will be sent out in advance.

£5. To pre-book, email jen@folkdancing.co.uk
£1 off your ticket to the Coventry Zesty Playford dance in the evening when you book.

In association with the Historical Dance Society

First Steps into Playford Workshop

Date: February 3, 2018

Time: 14:00 - 17:00

Location: St Barbara's Scout Hut

Dance workshop: 2‒5 p.m., led by Anne Daye
Wear comfortable shoes, no experience needed.

Here’s Anne’s description of the workshop:
“I will teach the steps used in dancing c.1651 – c.1680: the singles and doubles widely known in the day and also for country dances. They are more accurate historically than the current practice in most folk dance circles of walking through the figures. They also bring the dances alive with more energy and drive than walking, and also shape the figures better and match the strains of the music.

The aim is to encourage the use of stepping in a fun and approachable way (and I have done this for many years with success!), and to impart some understanding of the historical context of country dancing as a sophisticated genre of dance, enjoyed by all levels of society, emphasizing how Playford 1651 was dedicated to the young gentlemen of the Inns of Court.

Along the way, I will indicate how we know about the steps, and how they vary in the different metres.

The importance is to reinstate the proper steps and therefore prompt appreciation of a very special aspect of English culture.”

£5. Please message Jen to book.
Special offer: £1 off your ticket to the Coventry Zesty Playford dance in the evening if you book for either of the workshops 🙂

In association with the Historical Dance Society.

CZP with Daisy Black, Jude Rees and Tom Kitching

Date: February 3, 2018

Time: 19:30 - 22:30

Location: St Barbara's Church Hall, Rochester Road, Earlsdon, CV5 6AG

Coventry Zesty Playford with Andrew Swaine and Matt Norman

Date: March 3, 2018

Time: 19:30 - 22:30

Location: St Barbara's Church Hall, Rochester Road, Earlsdon, CV5 6AG

Working with Sources Workshop

Date: March 3, 2018

Time: 10:30 - 13:30

Location: St Barbara's Scout Hut, Rochester Road, Earlson, Coventry, CV5 6AG

A workshop on interpreting our sources for Playford dances, led by Anne Daye. Here’s Anne’s description of the workshop:

“The aim is to encourage more people to go back to the original documents, and develop understanding on which they can assess different interpretations of the dances.

I will cover ‘Playford’ as defined by Barlow in The Complete Country Dance tunes 1651 – 1728. So the day will explore the significant changes in dance culture of c.1700, concerning the introduction of the French style. Sources linked to and illuminating Playford will be discussed: manuscript sources, Lorin’s 2 ms. for the French king re English country dancing, country dances published c.1700 in Feuillet notation. We will also examine selected dances in order to investigate some of the problems in turning words into dance.

I expect the day to be roughly half and half practical and theoretical.”

Coventry Zesty Playford October Edition

Date: October 6, 2018

Time: 19:30 - 22:30

Location: St Barbara's Church Hall Rochester Road Coventry CV5 6AG

Coventry Zesty Playford December Edition

Date: December 1, 2018

Time: 19:30 - 22:30

Location: St Barbara's Church Hall Rochester Road Coventry CV5 6AG

What is Playford dancing?

Playford dancing gives you the grace and poise of ballroom without the footwork, the fun and sociability of barndancing without the haybales, and the simple accessibility of the macarena without, er, without the macarena, and what a relief that is.

Playford dances are the popular dances of the 17th and 18th centuries; they are an important part of our English folk dance tradition. If you’ve been to a ceilidh, it’s a lot like that. In fact, many Playford dances get done at ceilidhs, so you may well have done some Playford before. Now you’ve got the chance to do more!

Just like with ceilidh dances, you have a partner and dance with a group of people (a set). A caller teaches the dance, while a live band provides the music. You can make the dances as energetic or as elegant as you want them to be. You don’t need any prior dancing experience, and you don’t need to bring a partner, though feel free to bring all your friends.