19th c. Irish Morris

"Terpsichore - Her Votaries and Fashions"
T. Leggett-Byrne

27 Adelaide Road, Dublin, Ireland

irish_morris.jpg (61704 bytes)




T. Leggett-Byrne was a professional dancing master based in Dublin and he and his wife taught country dances, quadrilles and children's fancy dances at classes throughout Ireland. He also gave instruction in presentation and etiquette for the formal balls at Dublin Castle. Responding to requests for the instructions to such dances as 'The Lancers' he published "Terpsichore - Her Votaries and Fashions". Only two copies are known. One is in the National Library in Dublin, the other, sans illustrations, is owned privately. It is one of only three known published collections of dances taught in Ireland in the 18'th & 19'th c.

The fancy dances illustrated (but not described) in the book are the typical kind of dances taught to children at that time, e.g. rope dance, skirt dance, Irish jig, sailor's hornpipe, etc., and which formed part of the well-documented repertory of 19'th c. travelling dancing masters throughout the British Isles.

However the above illustration (made from a very poor photocopy) is unusual in that it depicts a somewhat fanciful but believable group of young morris dancers - in Dubln, Ireland - in 1898. Notice that the group includes both boys and girls.

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