The Grand Regency Ball

The ball last Friday was a magic, glittering event. The venue was this late 18th century manor Kristinehof, built in what was then the outskirts of Stockholm. Today you get there by metro, if you don´t happen to live around the corner. It was originally private, of course, but now it is sort of a cultural centre, and has been restored to its original state by one of the owners (or renters?), the Swedish Gustavian society Gustafs skål.

It started early in the evening with sparkling wine in the courtyard. We mingled and took pictures. (Most of the photos in this post were taken before the dance started. We were asked to put away our phones and cameras during the ball.)

Everybody – experienced reenactors and dancers as well as new “debutantes” – had put in a lot of hard work on costumes and coiffures. And so many hours were invested in planning and creating the dinner, and choosing and rehearsing the music. It is wonderful to be surrounded by that sort of people, isn´t it?

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Arriving through the gates. Read about my attire here. Photo by Matilda Furness.

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Elegant people in the courtyard. The kitchen wing is seen in the background.

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Scrolling through photos… I like the touch on the green dress – by 1815 the waistline was at its highest and skirts were becoming shorter.

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Exchanging fashion ideas…

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Olga was a new acquaintance. Her outfit was impeccable. We were all excited to learn that she has connections in S:t Petersburg, and there is a vivid interest in arranging historial balls… When she removed her fichu and bonnet she had sparkling jewellery worthy of the Russian imperial court.

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Lovely colour on Susanne.

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Soldiers in regimentals were present.

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Newlyweds Jacob and Ylva welcomed us to the ball. Photo by Matilda Furness.

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Transferring to the ball room in a graceful pace. Photo by Malin Gunnerhed.

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That colour!

 

The dance programme (in Swedish, but you get the idea) was designed by W. Dahllöf, musician and band director. You probably recognize several of the familiar Playford country dances, but there were many (French) dances from Swedish historical documents, reconstructed by our dance mistress and the musicians. Before each dance we were given quick instructions, and they were also written down in our programmes. Some of the dances were repeated, and sometimes in a higher tempo. We were about eighty dancers, so it was really crowded and warm in the ballroom.

Dansprogram

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Dinner was served after the first segment of dances. There was an abundance of delicious homecooked food with Chicken Marengo as one of the highlights! This after the second segment when we had coffee and a lavish dessert buffé.

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After dinner, before dancing, we were given several performances: together we sang The Plains of Waterloo, and we heard the old Habsburg hymn in Hungarian (Same tune as the Germans hymn, other lyrics), and the Russian Imperial hymn, an Italian aria, and – scandalous – The Marseillaise.

 

 

Photo Olga Peshkova

The ball ended at midnight out in the dark courtyard where torches lit up the final dance. Photo by Olga Peshkova/Poetry of time.

 

I could easily have danced many more hours, but all things come to an end. My head was full of music when I dragged my soar feet home. It was a memorable evening indeed.

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3 thoughts on “The Grand Regency Ball

  1. Pingback: A Regency Picnic at Royal Rosendal | Regencygentleman

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