Edinburgh Dance Assembly 1723

When & Where

Friday, 3 November 2023 - 7:00pm to Sunday, 5 November 2023 - 12:00pm
Various, Edinburgh, Various

Event Details

On the 4th of November, 1723, the Caledonian Mercury published an unusual advert. It informed its readers that ‘Edinburgh Assembly is to begin on Thursday next the 7th Instant, in the Great Hall in Patrick Steel’s Close, and Tickets are given out at Mr James Robertson’s Bookseller, opposite to the Cross.’ This was the first public advert about social dance nights in Edinburgh. Steel’s Close today bears the name dedicated to the institution – Old Assembly Close, whereas the ‘great Hall’ was destroyed in the Edinburgh fire in 1824.

Edinburgh Dance Assembly in 1723 became a point of national discussions, with some Church officials opposing it, whereas members of the Enlightened Circle, e.g. Alan Ramsay, actively supported it. The Assembly attracted wider attention with its female management, which was discussed in English newspapers. In addition, the 18th–century Edinburgh Assembly often acted as a charitable organisation fundraising for hospitals or local causes. It also inspired the creation of the earliest collections of dances set to Scottish tunes; some are still performed today.

On the first weekend of November 2023, we would like to mark this special occasion in the history of social dance in Scotland with a programme of events looking at dance and music of the period.

Weekend Programme

7:30 pm 3 November: Lecture-Recital, The Georgian House
Dance & Music for Ladies’ Assembly
10 am – 1 pm 4 November: Dance Workshops, St Cecilia’s Hall
in styles related to the 18th-century dance practice
7 pm – 10 pm 4 November: Ceilidh Night, St Cecilia’s Hall
with 18th – century Assembly – inspired dances and refreshments
10:30 am – 12 pm 5 November: Guided Tour, Lennoxlove House
inspired by Margaret Hamilton, Countess of Panmure, one of the Lady – Directresses

More information and tickets: http://www.danseantique.com/edinburgh-dance-assembly-1723-the-300th-anni...


Alena Shmakova


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Please note that you should check with the event organiser to confirm details of times and location - Scottish Local History Forum is not responsible for the events hosted by Member Societies.