PROGRAM OUTLINE for Jane Austen Festival Australia 2018

Here is the 2018 program –  followed by a preliminary dance program.  Ticket holders were sent an email on Tuesday 20 February with session booking opening dates. 

This years theme is 200 years since the publication of  Jane Austen’s “Persuasion”, a novel featuring naval affairs and port cities, published in 1817 six months after her death. This theme will figure in some of the workshops … and some of the dances! See below the program images for more detailed class descriptions.

Please register NOW for Thursday sewing workshops at



 Dance Program

  • The weekend features dozens of dances that are different from last year, and lots of new guest callers!
  • To help each evening’s ball roll, do try to make as many daytime dance workshops as possible.
  • This is a draft program date 25 January and may change slightly before or on the weekend.
FRIDAY 13 APRIL—dances from the 18th century into which Austen was born.

9.00-10.30: The English country dance tradition—longways dances for the evening Pleasures
(‘Hamstead Heath’, ‘Lord Nelson’s’, ‘Miss Bland’s Allemande’, ‘Peterson’s no.5’, ‘The Toast’).

11.00-12.30: The French ball tradition—styles influencing Austen-era English ballroom
(‘Blonde & Brune’, ‘Le Cordon Bleu’, ‘Nouvelle Pistolet’, ‘La Réverbère’, ‘Le Tourbillon’).

1.30-3.00: The Celtic tradition—folk dances from Wales and Scotland known in England.
(‘Aly Grogan & the Round O’, ‘Row Well ye Mariners all’, ‘Country Bumpkin for 9’).

3.30-5.00: The French folk traditiona guest from France joins others to take us back to roots
(bourrées and rounds with French guest, plus the long lived ‘Tricotet’ branle and ‘Congo minuet’)

6.30 for 7:00-11.00: GEORGIAN PLEASURES EVENING—Enjoy courtly displays, candle-lit supper, and join-in on all the dances from the day’s workshops. Dress might be Georgian, Regency or semi-formal.

SATURDAY 14 APRIL—dances from the period of Jane Austen’s novels.

9:00-10:30: The Austen-era country dance—dances for the evening ball.
(‘Ah ça ira’, ‘The Comet’, ‘The Russian Ambassador’s Waltz’, ‘The Triumph’, ‘Money Musk’

11:00-12:30: Dancing in rounds and squares—Napoleonic era dances for-as-many-as-will in circles
(‘La Batteuse’, ‘La Trompeuse’, ‘Français en rond’, ‘The Hussars’,)

1:30-3:00: Reels and Hornpipes—Anchors away! Lively dances and tunes that live on today.
(‘College Hornpipe’, ‘De’il among the Tailors’, ‘Drops of Brandy’, ‘Hull’s Victory’, ‘Portsmouth’

3:30-5:00: Finishing dances—Waltz games and double-time dances to end an evening.
(‘La Boulangère’, ‘Grossvater’, ‘Rond de Rochat’, ‘Russian style waltz’ and ‘Keraus’ (‘clear out!)

6.30 for 7:00-11.15: THE GRAND NAPOLEONIC BALL—All the dances from the daytime workshops led for all, together with displays and supper. Regency/Napoleonic or formal dress encouraged. 

SUNDAY 15 APRILdances from decades immediately following Austen’s death.

9:00-10:30: Quadrilles—some of the most popular square dances of 1820s-30s.
(‘The Lancers’ and ‘The First Set’—to music you can sing to—and ‘Blasis’ Quadrille’

1:30-3:00: The new cotillion dance games—fun to waltzes, gallops & polkas from the 1820s to 50s
Games with hankies, fans, hats and chairs culminating in the ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’

3:30-5:00: More quadrilles—squares and columns with fabulous figures and music:
(‘The Empire Quadrille’, ‘Quadrilles des Dames’ and ‘The ‘Can-can’ Quadrille’)

6:00 for 6:30-10:30: THE EARLY VICTORIAN MASQUERADE—Any era historical dress welcome for opening parade then the quadrilles and games from the day, light supper, displays & lots of farewell fun!

Walter Scott has no business to write novels, especially good ones. – It is not fair. – He has Fame & Profit enough as a Poet, and should not be taking the bread out of other people’s mouths. – I do not like him, & do not mean to like Waverley if I can help it – but fear I must…
Jane Austen, 28 September 1814

I have amused myself occasionally very pleasantly during the last few days, by reading over Lady Morgan’s novel of _O’Donnel_, which has some striking and beautiful passages of situation and description, and in the comic part is very rich and entertaining. I do not remember being so much pleased with it at first. There is a want of story, always fatal to a book the first reading–and it is well if it gets a chance of a second. Alas! poor novel! Also read again, and for the third time at least, Miss Austen’s very finely written novel of _Pride and Prejudice_. That young lady had a talent for describing the involvements and feelings and characters of ordinary life, which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with. The Big Bow-wow strain I can do myself like any now going; but the exquisite touch, which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting, from the truth of the description and the sentiment, is denied to me. What a pity such a gifted creature died so early!
Sir Walter Scott,  14 March 1826

September 18.–Wrote five pages of the _Tales_. Walked from Huntly Burn, having gone in the carriage. Smoked my cigar with Lockhart after dinner, and then whiled away the evening over one of Miss Austen’s novels. There is a truth of painting in her writings which always delights me. They do not, it is true, get above the middle classes of society, but there she is inimitable.
Sir Walter Scott, 18 September 1827

Please note: Jane Austen Festival Australia and its Director reserve the right to alter the program and the acts as circumstances deem necessary.