12th Nov 2013 5:00pm-7:00pm

Grand Parade

A free and open event hosted with CRMNH partners from the Our Dancing Feet project. Booking required.

The Our Dancing Feet project will result in a site specific dance/theatre piece celebrating the history of the Regent Ballroom in Brighton and the Winter Garden in Eastbourne, with both a professional cast and community dancers. The performances have drawn inspiration from oral history recordings collected by trained project volunteers. See www.ourdancingfeet.carbonmade.com

Veronica Stephens (Producer of the project for Zap Art) and Sara Clifford (writer), will talk briefly about the project before introducing two talks about the social history of the 1950s.:

Dr. Claire Langhamer (University of Sussex): Love and the dancehall.

The romantic aspects of dance hall culture are well known to those who frequented them. One 1959 survey of young married couples found that a quarter had met on the dance floor and dance hall rituals were designed to make introductions fairly effortless. Dancehalls seemed naturally romantic: music, soft lighting, sprung floors and the physical proximity of dancing bodies added to a mood of intimacy. In this talk I will place the romantic history of the Regent within the wider context of courting and dating 1950s style.

Dr. Jane Hattrick (University of Brighton): 

1950s couture fashion and dance dresses.

Fashions in the 1950s were still set by the top couture houses in London and Paris, and styles worn by the British royal women, Princess Margaret and Elizabeth were followed by the fashion press and filtered down into ready-to-wear. This talk will discuss London couture fashions and 50s dance dresses in the context of the queen’s coronation of 1953 and the last court presentation in 1958.

This is a free and open seminar, however places are limited. Please email Dr. Sam Carroll to book a place: s.carroll2@brighton.ac.uk

The project is a co-production with Zap Art & inroads productions. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund. Supported by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund. Supported by Brighton & Hove City Council through an Arts Partnership Award. In partnership with the Centre for Research in Memory, Narrative and Histories.