Renaissance Footnotes is the performance name of the Basingstoke Early Dance group.
We are primarily a tudor reenactment group but also cover earlier and later periods. We
specialise in portraying the domestic pastimes of the period -
particularly the music and dance.
We practice and perform the social and court dances of the Renaissance covering the 15th century, 16th
century and 17th century, more specifically the period between 1450 and 1650. The
group was started in 1991 by people from a number of historical recreation societies
(English Civil War Society, White Company, Sealed Knot, etc.) who were interested
in learning the dances of the periods in history which those societies portrayed.
The group has a wealth of experience putting on domestic living history events
covering a wide variety of activities including our core specialities of music,
dance, period costume and period cooking and dining. Our dancers and reenactors
mainly participate in living history events covering the Tudor period, both
Henrician and Elizabethan, but also cover the medieval, Jacobean and Stuart periods up
to the English civil war.
Because we cover a period of over 200 years there is a wide range of dances for our dancers to choose from, some easy some difficult. The simpler dances include the English Country Dances taken from John Playford's English Dancing Master of 1651, and the Pavans and Branles of sixteenth century France. In the middle of the scale are the Basse Dances of fifteenth century Italy and Burgundy, and the fifteenth century Italian Ballo. At the more challenging end of the scale are the late sixteenth century Italian Balletti meticulously recorded for us by the dancing masters Caroso and Negri. Specific English sources for Tudor and Jacobean dances are the Gresley manuscript amd the Inns of Court manuscripts.
See the events page for details of the variety of events we can provide such
as Henrician Court, Elizabethan Court and Jacobean Court reenactment and dances and Jacobean Masques.
If you want Henrician Dancers, Elizabethan Dancers, Jacobean Dancers or Dancers for a Jacobean Masque,
you have come to the right place.
Potential bookers can get further information here
A quotation about dancing from Orchesography by Thoinot Arbeau, a dance manual first published in France in 1589
"most of the authorities hold that dancing is a kind of mute rhetoric by which the Orator, without uttering a word, can make himself understood by his movements and persuade the spectators that he is gallant and worthy to be acclaimed, admired and loved. Are you not of the opinion that this is the dancer's own language, expressed by his feet and in a convincing manner ? Does he not plead tacitly with his mistress, who marks the seemliness and grace of his dancing, "Love me. Desire me?"
The links at the top of the page will take you to other pages where dancers and tudor reenactors can get information about joining the Renaissance Footnotes dance group, supporters can see when we are scheduled to perform historical dances, and potential bookers can get an idea of the early dance events we put on. There are a number of photos showing the Henrician Court costumes and Elizabethan Court costumes our Henrician Dancers / Elizabethan Dancers and tudor reenactors use at Tudor dance events, as well as our Jacobean Masque costumes based partly on drawings by Inigo Jones. We also include some biographical details of some of our members showing their tudor reenactment expertise and historical interests. Our links page contains links to other Renaissance dance groups in the early dance circle, Renaissance music groups we collaborate with and general reenactment and living history links for the Tudor and Stuart periods.
Contact us via the email addresses if you want more information about Medieval dances, Henrician dances, Elizabethan dances, Jacobean dances and Stuart dances or Renaissance dancing in general. Come and meet an Elizabethan dancer or Henrician dancer in person at one of our events. While we have particular strengths in court and gentry dancing, no evening of dancing in the renaissance would have been complete without social dancing which in England was referred to as Country Dances.
We use various dance sources such as Gugleilmos "On the Practice or art of dancing" for medieval dance and Henrician Dance, the italian dance publications by Caroso and Negri for Elizabethan Dance, and the "English Dancing Master" published by John Playford for Stuart dance and coountry dance.
To find out more about us or book us then please contact Robert Huggett
Comments on this web page or feedback on one of our events should be sent to the Basingstoke Early Dance webmaster
This page last updated on March 14, 2015.