Sunday, February 10, 2013

Netherfield Ball: Middle TN JASNA Stylishly Celebrates the 200th Anniversary of Pride and Prejudice

"Netherfield Ball" program

The Middle Tennessee Chapter of JASNA recently celebrated the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice by holding its own "Netherfield Ball" in the grand salon of the Belmont Mansion on Friday evening, February 8.  Approximately 40 college undergraduates enrolled in Austen-related courses taught by Belmont University professor, Doug Murray, and Vanderbilt professor, Andrea Hearn, danced traditional English country dances alongside a large contingent of local JASNA members.

 Bridget McAdam(l) and Lucy Frye (r)  are escorted into
the Belmont Mansion by handsome Belmont gentlemen 
who have probably come to their first English country dance

Ball organizers Jo Ann Staples and Doug Murray 
greet ballgoers in the elegant foyer of the 
Belmont Mansion.
To formally begin the festivities, master of ceremonies, Doug Murray,  introduced Belmont Mansion director, Mark Brown, who made some interesting historical remarks about the Belmont Mansion and its original owner, Adelicia Acklen. Following these remarks, caller Susan Kevra, along with musicians Al and Emily Cantrell, ably led the enthsiastic dancers with clear directions and lively music.

Caller Susan Kevra (r) waits for the music to begin
with Norah Glickstein (l).

Belmont University students provided refreshments made from recipes often used during the Regency period including: white soup (mentioned by Mr. Bingley in Pride and Prejudice), carrot fritters and rout drops.  The dancers' attire ranged from 21st century mohawk hairstyles, 4" spiked heels and mini-skirts to neo-classically coiffed hairstyles with pearls and plumage, elegant empire-style silk dresses, and elaborate cravats.  Clearly, Jane Austen's influence as well as English country dancing never go out of style!

Every gown was more colorful than the next!
(l to r:  Caroline Davis, Bridget McAdam, Lucy Frye and Debbie Carroll.)

 Debbie Carroll (r) and her sister are "belles of the ball."
Roberta Maguire and Phil  Staples chat in between dances.

Marie Miesel (l) and Rebecca Jordan (r)  model
dresses that would be the envy of
the Bennett sisters!

What would Jane Austen think of this 21st century Belmont 
student (with his mohawk haircut)?

A dance begins.

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