Dancing was central to Georgian life, at court, in the ballroom and on the stage. Country dances were extremely popular, but this was also the era of the duet – beginning with the minuet and ending with the waltz. This talk by Moira Goff will explore the Georgian duet, from the formal ballroom dances of the time of George I to the apparent spontaneity of the couple dances enjoyed in the reign of George IV. It will also trace the evolution and reveal the variety of theatrical pas de deux between the early 1700s and the early 1800s. Along the way, it will peer at fashion, celebrity and dance crazes through the prism of changes in the style and technique of social and theatrical dancing. There will be pictures and even some demonstration of the dancing of this period.
Moira Goff is a dance historian specialising in ballroom and theatre dancing from 1660 to 1760. Her research is practical as well as academic and she enjoys dancing duets and country dances from the 18th and 19th centuries. She has published many articles, essays and papers, as well as her book The Incomparable Hester Santlow: a Dancer-Actress on the Georgian Stage which appeared in 2007. Moira is currently Librarian at the Garrick Club in London.