Welcome to a world of music, dance and costume!
Earthly Delights is a banner under which - through classes, workshops, events, commissions, performances and publications - an enormous range of related passions are exercised.The twin driving forces behind Earthly Delights are John and Aylwen Gardiner-Garden, who met dancing in 1989and have shared a passion for social dance (and each other) ever since. They have 4 children and a pretty home, studio and garden in a leafy lakeside suburb of Canberra, the small but beautiful capital of Australia.
Under About Us you can find notes on the artistic life of John and Aylwen, on The Dance Academy they run, on some of the musicians and dancers who've performed with them over the years, and even a little on the home, studio and garden that is their base.
Under Upcoming you can find posters and promotions for our upcoming balls, special workshops, theatre shows, displays etc. Please join us—we all love newcomers and love to make new friends.
Under Past Events you can browse through photos, posters and programs associated with hundreds of public events we've been involved with since about 2004 (with many hundreds of more photos due to be loaded up progressively). These pages don't go back to when John started calling in 1988, or when the band Earthly Delights started in 1995, or when Aylwen started organising public events in 1998, and don't include information on any of the hundreds of private shows John's organised. So many pleasures will linger only in our personal memories.
Under Books & CDs you can read about all the different resources that I, Dr John Gardiner-Garden, have produced. Presently available the 2 volumes of Lost Dances of Earthly Delights (128 dances, 400 tunes, 8 full band CDs), my supplementary Odd Delights, and my popular Christmas Carol Dances (instruction for 64 dances that can go to well-loved songs). To inquiry about purchasing any of these please just email us. Not presently available is my 10 volume 7,300 page magnum opus Historic Dance I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX and X , which traced dance contexts, forms, elements and teaching from from 1450 to 1900, and offered reconstructions for nearly 1,000 dances, with discussion throughout built around hundreds of included facsimiles, transcriptions, translations and illustrations. I am currently revising and expanding this into a new series of 30 books which will become available in late 2016. In April 2016 we will we post information on how you can purchase the grand new work at a discount pre-release price and be thanked for your support in my preface. Please feel free to email us an interest in being notified when subscriptions are open.
Under Historical Dances we plan to list all the dance topics and dances considered in depth in my soon to be released new series of books, but in the meantime, there is the contents of the old series. Please keep in learn when in late 2016 the new book series will be available.
Under Original Dances we plan to put on-line instructions for all of John Gardiner-Garden's 200+ dance composition. To get the best presentations of these dances and to support the art/craft of dance writing, please consider purchasing the book in which I've published them, namely Lost Dances of Earthly Delights, Volume 1: Pleasures for Four Seasons, and Volume 2: Favourites for Four Settings,The Christmas Carol Dance Book or my Odd Delights. I’m happy to offer people blanket permission to do any of my dances, but would love to hear from you if you want to ask for any teaching tips or to share with me your teaching experience. I may also there put on line detail of some of the performance medleys sets I have arranged and had success with over the years.
Earthly Delights has long been associated also with a big Regency-era festival every April and lots of historical costuming. For information on these see Aylwen's separate Jane Austen Festival page, and follow its links to program and ticket information for that grand event at Canberra's historic Albert Hall), to her costuming blog and to ordering details for dress supplies and patterns.
Let us come to you! We can tailor a contribution to you next event, be it at a school, a faire, a festival, a gallery, a living-history event, a wedding or a commercial function. We can display and/or get participation in dances from any period and many lands. We can focus on a particular period and place (be it Renaissance Italy, Elizabethan England, Baroque France, Rococo Germany, Regency London, Civil War America, Colonial Australia etc) or more generally tour Medieval Europe, put on a Dickensian Christmas show, time-travelling through 5 centuries from 1400 to 1900, or just have a good time together! We can perform in or out of doors and can come to you in any format, from small group to show, talk or play, to a large dance band with a dozen costumed dancers. Contact us on (02) 62811098 or 0409 817 623 to discuss your needs and obtain a quote.
We hope you will catch up with us one day - perhaps by coming to one of our classes or events, by booking us for your own event, by ordering a book, CD set, festival ticket or dress, or perhaps by simply emailing us to say hello or comment on something. We'd love to hear from you!
Hooray for the cooler weather! We have a packed autumn program and a rich harvest of different dances lined up for 8 different special events so do diary them all!
Saturday 19 March, 7:00-11:00pm, we hold our annual Chocolate Ball, with the bitter-sweet knowledge that it will be our last ball at All Saint’s Church Hall, Cowper St., Ainslie. After quite a few years there we can no longer get the forward confirmations we need, so we invite all who’ve enjoyed the venue in the past to make a return to help us farewell that venue (and we invite new comers to our classes to join us there for the first time!). We’ll be tasting dances from across the centuries in which chocolate was enjoyed in Europe—i.e. from the 16th century to now. Dress up as you like, bring a supper contribution (it doesn’t have to be chocolate) and have your desert-inspired title ready (I think last year I was Professor Profiterole).
Easter Friday and Sunday 25 & 27 March we will be in the Coorong hall at the National Folk Festival, Exhibition Park in Canberra, packing lots of repertoire and fun into a Time Traveller’s theme workshop and ball. Our 'Time Traveller’s Dance Guide’ will be on Friday 5:20- 6:40pm and our 'Time Traveller’s Dance Party’ will be on Sunday 2:30- 5:00pm. 500 years of dance—randomised at our party by our beautiful steampunk time transporter machine.
Monday 4 April, we are starting a new Dancing from Shakespeare to Jane Austen evening course at Ginninderra College, Belconnen, as part of Lakenite Learning, running across 6 Mondays and 2 Tuesdays (24/4 and 17/5), 7-9pm. We’re having a wonderful 1st term class and enrolments for our next class will open on Tuesday 22 so on that day you can click on the link above and hit the ‘ add me to the class button’.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday 15, 16 & 17 April, at Canberra’ grand Albert Hall we will have 3 back-to-back days and evenings of dance as part of the Jane Austen Festival Australia 2016. Each day will feature dance from different decades around the time of Jane Austen. Friday will feature the 18th century into which she was born and culminate in a ‘Georgian Pleasures Night’. Saturday will feature dance from the time of her novels and cultminated in a Grand Napoleonic Ball. Sunday will feature the dance crazes from the decades immediately following her death and culminate in a fancy dress ‘Waverely Ball’, a sort of ball that became popular in the mid-19th century and at which every period of dress was welcome, from Medieval through regency and onward (the young Queen Victoria loved them!).
Saturday 21 May, 7:00-11:00pm, we are holding our first ball in what will be our new regular dance venue, the hall of the Baptist Church at 11 Currie Crescent Kingston—its perfect for us. It’s attractive and spacious, and has a great wooden floor, a small stage for band and a beautiful courtyard for our suppers. It’s also close to shops for those who, before we start, want to grab something to eat or something to bring. Please make history with us by being there on our first night. Bring a mask and we’ll lead a mystery mix of 20 dances from the 60 plus dances I will be leading on a European dance tour that starts 2 days later.
Last week of May and all of June our dancing in Canberra is paused while we are overseas. This year we opened our overseas tour up to interested dancers from our scene and have three joining three members of my family to take in balls and offer workshop (in half-a-dozen different costumes!) from Augsburg and Salzurg in the south, to Potsdam and Leipzig in the north, from Budapest and Prague in the east to Paris in the west. In the last two mentioned places we are even being given the honour of making a special feature of Australian dance! We’ll put the itinerary up on the web next month so you can invite friends in Europe to come and say hello to us.
Looking forward to your hello this coming Saturday! John
P.S. We’ll be running our ANU class as usual this Saturday afternoon, before we go off to All Saint’s in Ainslie for the ball.