18 Jan
Fri / 2019

Inside the MFAH
Dancing Your Roots with the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society

As Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits from Holbein to Warhol draws to a close very soon, the Museum celebrates the exhibition’s final days with programs inspired by centuries of British history—from a final-weekend talk and fashion workshop to an evening of Scottish country dancing.

The roots of Scottish country dancing trace back to the court of Queen Elizabeth I, and continue to evolve. The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, established in 1923 and now under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth II, helps spread these historic dances across the world. On Thursday, January 24, the society’s Houston & District Branch gives a free gallery performance at the MFAH. There’s even an interactive component that invites the audience to try dances for beginners!

I talked with teachers and dance enthusiasts from the Houston & District Branch about performing. Read on for insights from Tiffany Clede, a Heights-based teacher; David Davies, who has taught with the branch for more than 20 years; and Margaret Rose Simons, branch chair.

What is the goal of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society?
The society offers participants a chance to learn and execute a dance form that retains its roots in steps, formations, and style—both in the intact antique dances and in the newer dances. We stress the social aspects, and enjoying the music and movement of this uniquely Scottish tradition.

Because RSCDS has conserved and standardized Scottish country dance, the class structure and dances are virtually the same the world over. So a dancer from Houston could drop into a class in Tokyo, Sydney, or Madrid and feel right at home. Most people who participate don’t have a dance background, and many have never danced before in any style. Our dances are taught in such a way that they are accessible to anyone who wishes to learn.

How do the traditional dances relate to the art on view in Tudors to Windsors?
Since Queen Elizabeth II is the patron of our society, which was granted royal status in 1951, we feel a connection with the Windsors. The program on January 24 includes a dance written in honor of the wedding of Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh in 1948. Another dance in our program was written in 2012 in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

What can MFAH audiences expect to see?
We’ll perform four dances and ask the audience to join us in one or more, as time allows. You can expect to see kilts, tartan sashes, and smiles—and of course steps, formations, and style that draw directly from more than 200 years of tradition. We enjoy our dancing and do our best to show it!

Drop in for the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society’s gallery performance on Thursday, January 24! The exhibition “Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits from Holbein to Warhol” is on view through Sunday, January 27.


Recent Posts

Post Archives

Tag Cloud

17th-century 18th-century 1970s 19th-century 20th-century 35mm 5womenartists abstract activity african-art a-history-of-photography akan america american american-art ancient and angelica-kauffmann animals animation anna-atkins antiquities architecture archive armchair-travel art art-books artist artists art-of-the-islamic-worlds arts-of-india azaleas bayou bayou-bend bayou-bend-christmas-village bend bestowing-beauty biblical biography black book british british-arrows british-art broadways-amazing-mastersons buffalo-bayou-park-cistern campus campus-redevelopment cannes carroll-sterling-masterson chair chef chinese-art christmas christmas-fun cinema cisternrain classic classic-films cocktail coffee collection color colors-of-the-oasis community concrete conservation contemporary-art contemporary-arts-museum-houston contemporary-film contesting-modernity countess cullen-sculpture-garden culture curator curators-picks dance decorative-arts degas degas-a-new-vision design digital documentary documents dont-blink-robert-frank drama drawings dutch-art electronic elizabeth-i england e-records europe exhibition exhibitions eye-on-houston family family-programs fashion fashion-fusion feast festival fiber-arts field film films flowers food france francis-bacon free french french-art fun future futuremfah gainsborough gallery gallery-interpretation garden garden-paradise gardens george-iii glassell glassell-school-of-art google-art-project google-arts-and-culture habsburg-splendor-masterpieces-from-viennas-imperial-collections halloween happyhour happy-new-year harris-masterson-iii henry-viii hirsch-library history history-book-club holiday holiday-fun hollywood home homemfah homeso-different-so-appealing houston howe hurricane-harvey icaa ikat ima-hogg impressionism indian-art instagram interactive ipads islamic italian japanese-art john-biggers joshua-reynolds kenwood kids king kodak kusama latin latin-america latin-american latin-american-art latino-art latin-wave latinx laura-israel learning-and-interpretation love mail manet maria-fernanda-cardoso mastersons mayan-art media meditation mending-craft-and-community mexican-film mexican-modernism mexico mfa-cafe mfah mfah-book-club mfah-films mfah-in-the-community mfah-staff modern modernism movie movies movies-houstonians-love mueck mueckmfah museum museum-education music native-american-art new nhprc now-on-view now-playing organic oscar-de-la-renta oscars painting paintings paint-the-revolution paris paul-thomas-anderson peacock-in-the-desert-the-royal-arts-of-jodhpur-india peacockmfah persian persian-art photographs photography picasso portrait portraits pose prints prints-and-drawings programs queen-victoria radical rebel-jester-mystic-poet recipe rembrandt-van-rijn rienzi ron-mueck rothko sampler school sculpted-in-steel sculpture self-portrait shadow-monsters shepherds short-films slow-art-day snail snapshot spain spanish-art spring streaming style summer technology texas textiles thanksgiving the the-al-sabah-collection theater the-glamour-and-romance-of-oscar-de-la-renta trivia tudors-to-windsors valentines-day venezuelan-art video vincent-van-gogh vincent-van-gogh-his-life-in-art virtual wagner-garden-carpet watercolor winter women-filmmakers womens-history-month works-on-paper yoga zoom