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Published on Apr 24, 2011
Christchurch Country Dance Club, New Zealand
** This upload is in memory of the recently late Catharine Gallop whose enthusiasm for English Country Dancing resulted in making of this film. **
The oldest and longest running branch of the English Folk Dance and Song Society was in Christchurch, New Zealand dating back to the early 1930s - with a sister club in Timaru. The Country Dance Club in Christchurch was rediscovered in the mid-1970s by Chris Brady (at that time an emigrant from the UK). See: [chrisjbrady DOT itgo DOT com] for further info. re: English Country Dancing in NZ in the 1920s/30s/40s.
The enthusiasm of the ladies of this long-standing club was immense - they only danced English Country Dances as from Sharp's "Country Dance Books" - in what we now call Sharp-style Playford dancing. Most of them were in their 60/70/80s. They danced in white plimsoles, held summer garden parties where they danced on the lawn, and also gave performances at fetes, etc. Up to the mid-1970s they danced solely to 78 rpm records especially imported from the UK.
The key ladies I remember - now alas all gone (rip) - were Nancy Page, Betty Moon, and Kennah Moor (an original founder member seen dancing in the film aged 80+ just a few weeks before she passed away).
In 1987 David and Catharine Gallop from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada visited the Club and filmed the ladies dancing. It is a compilation of their footage that is presented here.
In the interview clip there is Catharine Gallop, Betty Moon and Kennah Moore.
Chris J Brady. ((c) David and Catharine Gallop - uploaded with permission).
P.S. The Arts Centre was severely damaged during the 2010 / 2011 earthquakes.