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Two chances to have a ball at Alberton

August 12, 2013

Two chances to have a ball at Alberton

Celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of Alberton – the Mt Albert mansion cared for by the NZ Historic Places Trust – continue with two premium events planned for August and September.

Alberton will hold a formal ball on August 31, followed by a second ball a couple of weeks later on September 14.

As well as enjoying the special ambience of the two occasions, people will also have an opportunity to enjoy some colonial-era dancing under the expert guidance of Beth Harris.

“Beth has been teaching English Country Dancing, Early Dance and International Dance for the past 30 years, and has a special interest in Colonial Dances of early New Zealand,” says the Manager of Alberton, Rendell McIntosh.

“She’s a great teacher, and certainly knows how to make dancing fun so everyone is in for a treat. The other thing, of course, is that people don’t need to come with a partner to enjoy our gala events.”

This will be the first time in at least 20 years that Alberton has hosted formal occasions like these.

“Our two formal dance evenings are inspired by a similar event held in the Alberton Barn on September 20, 1877 when over 250 people danced in the first County – or Riding Ball – held in New Zealand,” says Rendell.

“The ball would have attracted prominent community leaders and business people of the day given that Alberton was a social centre for Auckland’s colonial elite. Although the ball was held in Alberton’s barn, it’s fair to say that it was certainly no barn dance.”

Alberton’s barn was sadly demolished many years ago, though the spirit of that first formal occasion will be recaptured again at both gala events that will take place – appropriately – in Alberton’s ballroom.

“Our programme will include Victorian and Ceilidh dances with live music from the ‘Rose and Thistle’ Country Dance Band,” says Rendell.

“Guests are encouraged to dress up in their finery, and Victorian outfits if they wish, and take part in one of our two wonderful events, which will themselves become a part of Alberton’s history.”

The cost is $30 per person which includes supper, though numbers are limited to 30. Both events start at 7pm. Bookings are essential – email alberton@historic.org.nz or Ph 09-846-7367. (Please indicate which night you would prefer to attend.)

ENDS

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