The TIFF Assembly

This year Toronto TIFF films in the park ended their 2015 season with a free screening of Pride and Prejudice in David Pecaut Square. A few years ago a few of us dressed up and attended a screening of Sense and Sensibility and had a great time, so I thought why not do it again, arrive a little early, and do some dancing. I spread the word to my dance friends and we ended up a party of nine, two of us being Good Time Regency girls.

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We found a quiet corner of the park to dance in. After we started, a TIFF organizer approached us to see if we would be interested in dancing in front of the crowd that was assembling for the film.

Dancing in our quiet corner of the park

Dancing in our quiet corner of the park

Dancing in our corner of the park

Dancing in our corner of the park with Roy Thomson Hall in the background.

We decided “Why Not?” TIFF played our music through their very loud sound system, and we danced for about 30 minutes leading up to the screening of the film. At the end, we got a huge applause from a crowd of approximately 200 people.

Dancing in front of the crowd.

Dancing in front of the crowd.

Afterwards we were approached by several people who were interested in learning more about English Country Dancing, and eventually got settled into our chairs for the film. The evening was certainly not what we had expected, but it was such great fun. Three cheers for The TIFF Assembly!

Enjoying the film.

Enjoying the film.

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Crysler’s Farm

So last weekend me and the family headed out to Crysler’s farm area to take in the sites and the battles. That’s right this GTRG packed up her parents and the Hubby for a weekend of history. So here you have it folks my write up on one of the biggest 1812 – 1813 events of the season.

To start with I would like to be honest with you all I don’t camp. That isn’t to say I have never tried it. I have and it just didn’t stick. So we all booked in at a hotel and made a family mini vacay out of it. I have to give big big BIGGGGGG props to Lady Jen who toughed it out in a wedge tent. I point this all out because my weekend will seem vastly different to her recap.

So on the Friday night after work me and the Hubby tossed the duffel bag of stuff into the car. I should note that this time I was not just packing a costume for myself but also for Hubby. He has a vest from when he deiced he wanted to dress like the guys in madmen, was opposed to the short pants, and I had found a jacket that would do at a Goodwill. The only thing missing was a cravat. With the left over linen from my shift. “Great” I thought “I will tidy it up with a hem will be wonderful”. Well I sew by hand and manged to get just enough done to need to do the whole thing. Alright…I can do this in the car….and it was going alright until it got dark. After the ump-tenth time jabbing my finger Hubby suggested I put it down and talk him though the dances.

Lap sewing on a night time car ride...don't do it

Lap sewing on a night time car ride…don’t do it

The next morning after breakfast we made the short drive to Upper Canada Village. The place was packed! There was a ton of families which is great as it means that a whole new generation of Canadians are getting an intro into history.

After pulling in I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to find Lady Jen. After all the place was packed. No sooner then I had said this then I spotted a bonnet I knew all to well. I called across and after the pleasantry’s were exchanged we made our way over to the battle field to get a shady spot. Lady Jen joined us and seemed very happy to be in a cool spot. My Mother was very excited to get a good look at her reticule and they chatted for a while about it. (Side note to Lady Jen you really should get a pic of it up as it is very cute) Then with a BAM of canon fire the battle started.

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It was a good one but I have to say as someone who has worked in costume in bad heat I was really feeling for those Redcoats.

After we walked back to camp with Lady Jen and chatted with friends both old and new. Then we tok a walk around the folks selling there wares. Again me and my Mother looking at all the reticule’s. Keep an eye out for a post soon about me and my Mother making them…I can feel this coming.

Then we cheated and we went back to the hotel for dinner and to change. Coming back we headed into the Village in time to see both the dueling demo, (this time Lady Jen got to play the part of wife!) and the evening battle. Then it was time for the ball.

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You can see the dress I had been working on and as for the Hubby? At some point he stopped just being that and started really being his “Lordship”. From that point on he did not want to take the jacket off even with the heat. Not sure when he came up with a persona but told me if he was asked he had deiced he was a well to do lawyer, have a feeling this has to do with our love of Downton Abby. I know it’s the wrong era but hey he was getting into being dressed up and going to a ball. We both also got a big kick in a tourist asking to take a picture of us and then saying “Pesky battles getting in the way of you towns folks having a night out”

As for the ball, it was wonderful. The dances seemed to flow one into the next and the band was great. Me and his Lordship did cause a bit of a scandal as we danced every dance together! I know shocking right? Well that is why I am a Good Time Regency Girl and not a well behaved one. Also not sure if anyone knows but what would be the ruling on that for folks who are married?

We came back and let my Mother take a few more pictures of us before going back to our room. Apparently she had spent the night on her iPhone looking up pictures of reticule’s. In the morning and with the last bars of the Duke of Kent’s waltz in my head we came back home.

I want to end this post with a thank you to all involved. The troops the camp followers everyone
who put on a good showing. To those who organized and worked behind the scenes, I hope this blog finds you and you know just how much my family enjoyed the weekend.

What I have learned so far as a GTRG

Hello,

I have very busy week with work and family but I thought I would write a bit of a mini post about what being a GTRG has taught me so far….

That maybe with a little help and support ball gowns can be done, also if you go to Las Vegas you come back to Lady Jen having power sewn a good chunk of it.

While dancing if one gets lost in the dance, stick your hand out and smile. This is the Lady Kenzie’s key tip!

Hand sewing take time but it so worth it

On that note don’t use a daring needled for sewing a ball gown

That the dance I was writing was a bit of a mess but it was fixable

That my hubby likes it when I work on dance stuff, as it involves no bits of fabric

Lady Jen is to short to be on the mens side while danceing the Duke of Kents waltz

Thus you have it things I have learned so far!

I wish I was a little bit taller…I wish I was a baller…I wish I had a dance and was a caller…

Ok so I hope that all of you sung the title of my post. I hope that you get the joke, if not I will post a link at the end of this post. So no I don’t want to be taller and since I do go to dances I guess I am a “baller”, but I honestly wish I was a caller.

What is a caller you might ask? Good question. For those who take part in English Country Dancing, the Caller is the person who calls out the dance steps. They work with the band and pick the dances, and they make sure that everyone knows what to do. In groups that know the moves they may talk it over before the music starts, as the dances get going they will call out reminding all of us where to go and what to do.

Now I love to dance, but as with many things I get to a point where I feel the need to take it all apart and fiddle with what I know about it. This has led to many 1/2 done bits of projects that lay like a bone yard, in the basement as a testament to stuff that is “hard”. Thankfully (as my Hubby would say) this sort of project needs no bits of fabric, foam or spray paint. So what do I need to be a Caller? I am not really sure.

The next step would be to ask a Caller and I have. The response while friendly has been cryptic.

“Oh you know you just…sort of do it”

This can mean only one of two things:

In some sort of lodge the Callers meet in secret and call masked balls and share the calling craft

OR
It’s one of those things that you just have to “start” doing.

As much as I like the idea of secret society I think I will have to just dive in. Lady Jen and Lady Kenzie have been batting around the idea of a dinner party. If you read my post from a while back you’ll know I am working on a dance based on a video game. Fate? A chance to call my own dance? Me over thinking it all? Most likely all of the above.

OH and if you missed out on the pun that is my title or now have the song in your head, I leave you with this:

Spencerville Heritage Fair – Recap!

So as Devon mentioned in our last post, we had an absolutely great time at the Spencerville Heritage Fair!

We spent Friday morning getting ready for the day, and also Devon and I had a chance to stroll through Kathy’s garden/yard and pretend we were in a BBC drama. The best part is that this picture was candid, I really was making that ridiculous face.

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Here are the Good Time Regency Girls’ Pictorial Top Ten from the Spencerville Heritage Fair:

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Spencerville Heritage Fair 2013

Just a quick fly by post to say Lady Jen and Lady Devon are heading to Spencerville for the Spencerville Heritage Fair! It’s going to be an amazing weekend and we’re really looking forward to it! Can’t wait to post about it when we return! 

Dance and the Gamer Girl

Over the last few years I have fallen in love with English Country dancing. I love the music, the movement, the patterns and above all I love the music. Nothing quite hits you like a good tune. I grew up in a family that played tons of live “old country” polka, so my tastes have always been more historical. Jigs and Reels became a natural extension of what I found I liked. Funny it took me so long to find my way into the English Country Dance world.

Some thing else you should know about me while I love all things historical, I have a great love for the modern form of entertainment known as video games.

Now you might be wondering why I am telling you this and what the two have to do with each other. Well as we said in the intro we are moderne woman navigating history. Funny it’s a modern art form that is inspiring me to look deeper into something from the past.

Over the Easter weekend the Husband and I played Bio Shock Infinite. It was a great story and wonderful game.

What really caught my attention was this

http://m.youtube.com/#/watchv=XrhmA8rgI2o&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DXrhmA8rgI2o

Go on have a listen, you’ll find it’s not what you might expect from a game sound track. The name of the tune is Rory O More Saddle the Pony. While you have to wade though many videos and thoughts on the game should you wish to goggle it, you will discover that it is a rather old tune.

This all leads me back to dancing. You see the moment I heard it in game I knew I wanted to dance to it. Not just any dance but something fast fun and in a ball gown. This music is setting me not just to dance but how dance is and was created. What I hope to do is create something that feels like it could be from the past, but has been inspired but something very modern. I may even see if I can make some sort of nod to the game with in the dance. This is the very first time I have done dance project like this, and hope with a little help I can end up with something that works!

So I will keep you all posted on how this goes and if I really can make the modern and past come together in dance.