A bunch of our dancers -- led by Mistress Katherina -- performing under the name Capriol have teamed up with Auckland-based early music group Affetto to put together a show combining sixteenth century music and dance. I had the good fortune to see the first performance last night.
This is a larger incarnation of Affetto than I had previously seen, with sackbutt, cornetto, violin, recorder, harpsicord/organ, viola da gamba, voice, and one gentleman swapping between a range of stringed instruments including a theorbo (recently purchased using crowd-sourced funding). They sounded great, and it's a great venue for music: small, and with a wooden floor so you can feel the music through your feet as well as ears. Particular highlights for me were Une Jeune Fillette, by Jehan Chardevoine, and Dowland's Flow my Tears.
NZ Scadians will be familiar with the skills of Ildhafn's elite dance troupe. Capriol brought not only the moves, but also the bling, frocked-up in their best Elizabethan-era clothing. Not only did they look great, but -- especially for the women -- the clothing helped to make sense of some the dance steps, with Katherina's train swooshing around the dance floor, and farthingales generally popping-back and forward in response to (otherwise sometimes hidden) footwork. The wooden stage meant the dancers got full value for their battutti. Dances for the evening included canary, galliard, cascarda and concluded with a suitably hammed-up medley of mimed bransles.
It was great to see renaissance music performed at a high level (something I've missed since moving to New Zealand) and renaissance dance performed to a high level outside the SCA (which I think is rare anywhere).
Just two more shows: Saturday 6th of September, 7:30pm, Ponsonby Baptist Church; Sunday 7th of September, 3pm, The Whare, University of Waikato, Hamilton.