Annual Sussex Playford Ball

Sussex Playford Ball in Horsham SUS-140618-101500001
Sussex Playford Ball in Horsham SUS-140618-101500001

The Annual Sussex Playford Ball took place on Saturday June 7 in the beautiful old Barn in the Causeway.

The event, organised by the Sussex Folk Association (SusFA), attracted dancers from across the South East.

Most were in 17/18th century costume as befitted the dances which were called with charm and clarity by John Turner from Hampshire.

The beautiful, evocative music was provided by Sue and Pete Hall and added greatly to the success of the evening.

All dancers brought a contribution to the delicious interval supper which was co-ordinated by Joan Downing (93). A magnificient raffle was organised and run by June Axon and Philip Price.

This is the 5th Sussex Playford Ball. The first three were held in Danny House, Hurstpierpoint and were organised by June. When Danny House became unavailable, the Ball moved to Horsham in 2013.

Playford dances are Engish Country Dances. They were first published by John Playford before the Great Fire of London.

Each dance had its own tune and notation. There were 105 in the first edition and over the next century many more were introduced. Not quite all the dances enjoyed on Saturday were true Playford as many excellent dances still being composed today in the ‘Playford style’.

If any readers are interested in learning more about Playford dancing there are local Country Dance clubs which include Playford dances in their programmes and a couple which specialise in Playford.

Maureen Reed, who is SusFA secretary, will gladly give more details. She can be reached on 01403 741431 or maureen.kettle@btinternet.com

Report and picture contributed by Maureen Reed.