Tolstoy’s New Year’s 1810

New Year’s Ball in St. Petersburg, Russia.

A palatial ballroom, a string quartet or small orchestral ensemble, a dancing master (with a charming Russo-French accent*) teaching us dances of 1810-18ll, when Natasha Rostova and Andrey Bolkonsky danced at a New Year’s Ball in “Piter”, and fell in love, in Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Dance with one of them! (In keeping with period-appropriate customs, only women should dance with Andrey, only men with Natasha.) Period costumes for the Ball (optional) could be made available for rent.

Natasha@Ball-detail

(*The accent in question, a popular affectation in aristocratic circles at the time, involves speaking Russian, or in our case English-with-a-Russian-accent, with a “uvular” French ‘r’ – Russians call it “grassirovanie”, and of course both r’s in the word should be uvular. NB: a uvular ‘r’ is the sound Lucy used to make when her escapades got her in trouble.)

This is a dated event.

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