2 posts categorized "Dance"

Newport Vintage Dance Week

It was just about a year ago that I wrote about the Newport Vintage Dance Week, hosted by The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers. (If you missed it you can read about it here.)   Part of the schedule last year was an afternoon at The Newport International Polo Grounds to watch a polo match, enjoy a picnic buffet and dance under the big white tent.  The CVD contacted me to see if I wouldn't mind adding a bit of vintage tailgaiting decor to the event and to observe, interview & capture it through photographs.  I jumped at it, of course.

There was one common thread that ran through the brief conversations I was able to have with some of the guests: a fear that the days were numbered for events such as this and that there was a weakening interest in all that the CVD and it's devotees stand for.  I drove home that night feeling as if I had been transported back in time to old~world Newport, the original resort town by the sea and fearing, too, that this wonderful experience would not be had by many more in todays rapidly & ever-changing world. . .

After much thought, I decided to wait until the spring to write this post, thinking that it could give the event a big shout-out as the season was just about to descend upon us but in plenty of time to book the trip and save the date.

I visited the website this week to confirm the event dates and so forth and lo and behold you won't believe it but:

Newport Dance Week 2012 Completely Booked!

Booked Solid.  The entire week.  A wait list in place.  How is that possible?  I ask myself after so many voiced concern over a lack of interest, not to mention that bad "e" word -- the troubled economy.  Well, maybe it was the wonderful piece Bill Cunningham wrote for the NYT about it or the great narrated video he created.   Perhaps all the attention and excitement about the release of the 2012 version of "The Great Gatsby" directed by Baz Luhrmann?  Who knows?  What I do know is that it doesn't get much better than that for CVD and I am sending my warmest congratulations to them and best wishes for another wonderful week in Newport. 

And now, just about one year later, but all the sweeter for the memory, are my photographs from

The Newport Vintage Dance Week
at
The Newport International Polo Grounds
30 July 2011.

Best hat at Newport Vintage Dance Week 2011 Newport International Polo Grounds


 Commonwealth Vintage Dancers at The Newport International Polo Grounds


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 The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers at twilight at The Newport International Polo Grounds


 Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (6)

Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds

Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (12)


 Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (14)


 Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (15)

Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (16)


 Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (19)

 

Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (21)

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Getting music ready for the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (4)

This beagle would like a dance Commonwealth Vintage Dancers Newport Polo Grounds

Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (2)

Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (3)

 Commonwealth Vintage Dancers dance at The Newport International Polo Grounds (24)

Vintage tailgaiting by The Red Velvet Shoe @ Newport Vintage Dance Week Polo Grounds

Newport International Polo Club Newport Vintage Dance Week The Red Velvet Shoe

xx ~ Michelle


Newport Vintage Dance Week 2011

If you happen to follow the Facebook page of my blog/site, you may recall I mentioned quite awhile back that I had been invited to attend "The Newport Vintage Dance Week" after one of the sponsors came across my post about Vintage Tailgating.  It was one of those moments when, upon learning of this event, I again thought to myself:  "How is it I have never heard of this?" 


(photo courtesy of The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers)

Newport is less than an hour away, and although my days of hanging out at The Black Pearl, The Pelham & The Red Parrot have been long laid to rest, I do at times feel the urge to head to Newport, but on a far more grown-up level.  I now tend to head there "off season", when traffic has slowed, parking is available & the weather is much more conducive to enjoying the coast with a wicker basket picnic or dining outdoors sans staring tourists with cameras and drunk prepsters who are trashing yachts Onassis couldn't afford to own.  I suppose you can consider yourself a grown up when you'd rather be "un-seen" than "be seen" in such a place as Newport purports to be. 

Yachts in Newport Harbor  
(photo courtesy of 12 Meter Charters)

Although still the lovely "City By The Sea", when you watch films shot on location in or about Newport such as "The Age of Innocence", "The Great Gatsby", "High Society" and "Mr. North", you have to wonder where all the charm, the grace, the manners and propriety that was once associated with and demanded by those who swam the circles of Newport's social seas has gone.  The glamour once associated with the glamorous likes of Doris Duke and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy has all but disappeared and been replaced with a much less refined sense of entitlement and entertainment.

Jfk and jackie 

While I cannot tell you (in a simple blog post, anyway) where those days have gone, I can tell you there is a troupe of rather talented, aesthetically concerned persons who wish to reclaim, revive, and at the very least recall the grand days of yesteryear.

They are The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers and their mission is rather admirable and most noteworthy.  Voted two years in a row one of The Top Five Most Memorable Events of 2010 by Bill Cunningham of The New York Times (additional photos here) , the upcoming 24th Annual Newport Vintage Dance Week (30 July - 5 August 2011) is, rather obviously, the place to be. 

The week kicks off on Saturday, 30 July 2011 at 5:00 pm with a Polo Match (Newport vs New York), a Dinner Buffet & Welcome Dance to be held at The Newport International Polo Grounds at Glen Farm in Portsmouth, RI and includes private box seating in the Subscriber's Enclosure for excellent viewing of the match.  Registration for the event will begin at 1:00 pm to allow plenty of time for settling in, mingling and enjoying the lovely grounds of this Rhode Island landmark. 

"Travel Back in Time to the summer playground of the Gilded Age.
 Perfect your dancing skills with classes taught by leading experts on vintage dance.
 Experience the breathtaking opulence of America ’s finest ballrooms as you dance in Newport’s famous mansions.
 Let yourself be immersed in a bygone era as you sip tea by the shore..."  (courtesy of TCVD website)

 

 

xx ~ Michelle