Music and Dance returns to Fishergate Postern Tower.

As part of the forthcoming York Curiouser event, to be held at various locations around York from 14th June to 7th July 2014, music and dance has returned to Fishergate Postern Tower, Piccadilly, York – for only the second time in probably almost 200 years.

In 1818 William Hargrove says, he had an old manuscript presented to his father, that indicates that concerts of music and dancing used formally to be in Fishergate Postern, and there have been music galleries in the upper room. In the Georgian period the upper floors, along with a music gallery, was a place where dancing and singing provided entertainment -although as the rooms are rather small, Hargrove suggests that they were for “Private Assemblies”. (Ref: “History and Description of the Ancient City of York”, Volume II. p23-25. Alexander)

In January 2014 the Ebor Morris Men performed in the tower and now Janet Hodgson, one of the York Curiouser Artists, is bringing music and dance back to the tower again. Janet has shown her work both nationally and internationally, including at Tate Liverpool and the Serpentine, London. She is concerned with constructs of time and place. Her work is multi-disciplinary and often collaborative. She uses the site and its history as the starting point for creating new work.

Just as archaeologists dig the earth Janet digs up figures and histories associated with the site, bringing to life ghosts from the past. She makes costume dramas to help us resolve or find a different way to use the past to inhabit the present and locating fragments of alternative models of memory and power relations for the future.

Janet’s Institute Of Historical Correction, and renowned choreographer Lea Anderson are making a new a costume drama – “The Postern” on location in Fishergate Postern Tower. This is a newly commissioned artwork as part of York Curiouser and has been filmed on site and will be shown in the tower during the York Curiouser event.

“The Postern” is a film of a Georgian Dance Lesson with a difference, here the students learn a new quadrille specially composed for this occasion. Their instructor will be Mary Wigman (1886 – 1973) who choreographed the dance routines for Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich; she will lead them through a new quadrille revived especially for this occasion. The dancers will work hard to achieve the perfection she requires. A choirboy will provide the music for the quadrille. He will sing a Dada composition with a libretto with words taken from Drakes Eboracum. More pictures at here.  The videocan be viewed HERE  or downloaded HERE

York Curiouser runs from 14th June to 7th July 2014 at various locations around York including Fishergate Postern Tower, Red Tower, Quilt Museum St. Anthony’s Garden, The National Centre for Early Music, Kings Manor, York’s Snickleways, River Foss, etc..

The Friends of York Walls open the tower at selected times during the year – see for details. The Friends are pleased to be associated with York Curiouser 2014 and to support the use of “The Walls & Towers” for public enjoyment.
Fishergate Tower will be open on Saturdays/Sundays/Wednesdays/Thursdays/Fridays from 14th June to 7th July 2014.



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