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Published on Aug 2, 2016
Colin Hume wrote “New London Assembly” and its tune to honor the week of English country dancing known by the same name and held at Connecticut College as part of the annual summertime Amherst Early Music Festival. Indeed, many in the band for this video were AEMF colleagues of Shira Kammen, who was on the faculty of both the Festival and the Assembly. This performance marked the dance’s world premier (in the video, actual dancing begins at 00:03:38).
In her book Ease and Elegance, Fried Herman lists the characteristics of a good dance. Among those she mentions is “a surprise: an unusual or new figure, step, progression, or a change of rhythm.” Certainly New London Assembly hits the mark with its unique ¾ double figure 8 across the set. It was a privilege to be among the dancers launching this dance at the New London Assembly dance week under Colin’s fine direction and with music provided by a merry band of musicians from AEMF. –Paul Ross