Dancers in the theatres of the north east of England in the 18th century

This paper deals with the trials and tribulations of theatre companies in the north east of England in the 18th century, to what extent dancers were involved in their programmes and what dances they favoured. There were four major companies operating in that area, two in Yorkshire one covering the coastal area of the north riding and Durham and one in Newcastle.  Their circuits were extensive and involved a great deal of travelling on the uncertain roads of the 18th century, carrying not only the artists, but their costumes, props and scenery with them in baggage wagons.  The time taken in travel and setting up would leave little free time for dancers to rehearse or even to warm up adequately. In most cases it seems to have been the actors who doubled as dancers, but the companies did occasionally engage professional dancers for a season and it is interesting to compare their life style and repertoire with that of London dancers.

Author: 
Madeleine Inglehearn
Symposium_number: 
14
Symposium Title: 
Dancing in the theatre of Europe in the long 18th century 2012
Author affiliation: 
London, and Queen’s, Belfast