From: SEFAN [admin_at_sefan_dot_org_dot_uk]
Sent: 13 January 2010 10:46
Subject: SEFAN 2010-01-13_01 Two from EFDSS.

English Folk Dance and Song Society Press Release
Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent's Park Road, Camden, London NW1 7AY

12th January 2010

Annual Mary Neal Lecture and six-week course on Folk Song In England

The English Folk Dance and Song Society is offering a lecture and a six week course starting in February at Cecil Sharp House in Camden, examining from different perspectives the history of traditional song and dance in England.

Mary Neal Lecture
Friday 5 February, 7pm
Admission free, booking essential

The annual Mary Neal Lecture celebrates the work of Mary Neal CBE (1860-1944) and the continuing inspiration of her legacy for the participatory arts today.

Join us for the inaugural lecture, Hope's Song, given by Neal's great great niece, Lucy Neal OBE on Friday Feb 5th 2010 at 7pm at Cecil Sharp House, London NW1. Entrance is free.

Lucy, co-founder of the London International Festival of Theatre, draws on Mary Neal's work as a social reformer and suffragette to explore how traditions of song and dance are re-invented, and how we create our culture through participating in it.

An instigating spirit behind the English Folk Song and Dance Revival, Mary Neal's pioneering work with the Somerstown sewing girls and children of the Espérance Club is widely recognised as a precedent of radical participatory arts practice. For the young people involved social and cultural change went hand in hand. What do we learn from the past about the transformative power of the creative experience? Mary Neal's spirituality and connection to the natural world provide inspiration for looking at the value of collaboration and the future role of the participatory arts in an ecological age.

Last year, the original spirit of collaboration that brought Mary Neal and Cecil Sharp together was given renewed significance on the Mary Neal Day. In a historic reconciliation of their stories, Neal's papers were placed in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Taking the lead from the Espérance Club experiment, makers, bakers, artists, children, folk musicians, singers and dancers came together to create a celebratory encounter between contemporary arts and English folk practitioners to look at tradition with fresh eyes.

More about the Mary Neal lecture at

For more information call 020 7485 2206 or email info_at_efdss_dot_org

Folk Song in England
Every Monday, 15 February - 22 March, 7-9pm
Course fee £60 - booking required

A series of six evening classes exploring the history and development of English traditional songs, from 1800 to the present day.

Focussing on England over the last 200 years, the course will address such questions as why we label certain songs ‘folk', where did they come from in the first place, and how did they get passed around? We will also investigate who sang these songs, when and where, and how it came about that after a period of slow decline they were collected and ‘revived' by later generations. Other major themes will be the interplay between the oral tradition and printed forms such as broadsides and songsters, and the part played by commercial venues like 18th century pleasure gardens and Victorian music halls in the creation and dissemination of our traditional song heritage.

Level: Beginner to intermediate

To book your place on this course, contact EFDSS directly on 020 7485 2206 or download the booking form from the website here:


Mary Neal Inaugural Lecture
see above

Folk Song in England
see above

'To Lubberland'
A new exhibition by artist in residence Matthew Cowan 
Until 31 March 2010
Free 10.00am to 6pm - Mondays to Saturdays

Matthew Cowan has been the artist in residence at Cecil Sharp House throughout 2009. As an artist and curator he has been involved in directing and developing the visual arts at the House, and over seventy artists have been involved in exhibitions and live art events during the year. His solo exhibition, 'To Lubberland' presents works he has made during this time.


If you're interested in our Education newsletter, you can download the latest version as a PDF file from the website.

Family Barn Dances
Presented in association with the Friends of Cecil Sharp House
Sunday 24 January and Sunday 28 February, 3-5pm

Come and join in with the fun, lively dances from the British Isles.
For children of all ages with their parents or carers. Live band and caller. Refreshments available.
Tickets on the door only: Adults £5, Children £3


Shh! All-dayer of quiet music
Saturday 23 January, starts 1pm
Tickets £12.50

Shh! is now into its fourth year. Starting at The Spitz back in who knows when, The Local has presented all manner of the quiet stuff in sympathetic surrounds, and the good news is: everyone listens.

Of course the bands are not ALWAYS super quiet, but the audience is. We'll be bringing in our ShhUshers for the event, and you can be guaranteed a perfect listening environment for some of the finest artists around.

Presented by The Local.

Classes and workshops
If one of your New Year's resolutions is to be more active or learn something new, we'd love to see you at one of our regular classes and workshops. With classes in clog dancing, morris, banjo, fiddle, singing (including the Cecil Sharp House Community Choir) and more, there's bound to be something to inspire you.

Penny Allen  -    General Manager
Anthony John Allen - Chair of the Board

Charity registered in England and Wales No: 1111883
Company Limited by Guarantee No: 5114495 registered in Cardiff


89 Hollingbury Park Avenue, Brighton,  BN1 7JQ
Tel.  +44 (0)1273 541453