Newport Vintage Dance Week Part VIII: 1890s Soiree at Roger Williams Park Casino

Wow! I am so pleased that you are still here with me to share my copious yet fabulous memories from Newport Vintage Dance Week. The end is near, but not here yet… These pictures are from the last formal event Newport Vintage Dance Week will ever host: the 1890s Soiree at the Roger Williams Park Casino.

Built in 1896, the Casino at Roger Williams Park features a brick exterior and verandas…[in the] Colonial Revival architectural style of the late nineteenth century. The interior walls of the first floor are constructed of hand-finished wood panels, the original maple floors are intact, and details such as beveled mirrors and an emerald green tiled fireplace lend a formal and elegant air to the surroundings. Upstairs, the…grand [ball]room, with it’s birch floors, is painted in warm, rosy tones to evoke a sense of well being, a priority during the “Gay Nineties”. Plaster friezes and frescoes of cherubs and musical instruments adorn the 20-foot ceilings.

We arrived after sunset, due to a lot of last minute sewing, thus I didn’t manage to get pictures of the exterior of the building, but here is one courtesy of one of the catering companies that often does events at the venue (found via google).

The exterior of the Casino.

Now, before we proceed any further, I think we must ponder the definition of the word “casino.” To our modern minds, the word evokes a house of gambling, but that is not the appropriate definition for this particular venue. Here is Merriam-Webster’s first definition of the word: 1-a building or room used for social amusements; specifically: one used for gambling. Clearly, we were going out for social amusements! An example of the word in use (and related to our ball!): “on summer evenings dance bands would perform in the seaside casino.” So fitting!

This is Friday afternoon. The ball was Friday evening…

Getting ready to go wound up taking awhile because this decade needed lots of hair teasing and fussing from all of us to compliment the tiaras and bling!

Dressed! And blinged!

Three all new dresses that were finished the evening of the ball!

Another last minute finish.

Luckily, everyone made it to the ball wearing clothes!

I made an all new 1893 silk ball gown for this event. I received many lovely compliments, including some that expressed the feeling that I had achieved both the silhouette of the period as well as the overall style and that I really looked as though I had stepped out of the past. Yay! Goal successfully reached!

Another TNG picture. The bling was borrowed amongst all of us so everyone had sufficient sparkle.

Such a great ensemble! Adorable dress, fabulous feathers, and really awesome shoes!

A little blurry, but aren’t all the penguin-look-alikes fabulous?

Dancers at the ball. This is the upstairs ballroom.

More wonderfully dressed dancers.

A figured dance, I believe. Isn’t the atmosphere amazing?

Directing traffic around a tight turn in the Grand March. This particular Grand March went up and down stairs multiple times!

The Cake Walk. It’s a silly dance that where you prance and posture around the room, or, if you are in TNG, you might participate in the “Zombie Cake Walk.”

The ceiling of the upstairs ballroom.

Some TNG-ers dancing in the downstairs ballroom.

The ceiling of the downstairs ballroom.

The ballroom grew quite warm, but we discovered air vents in the floor!

Then we had people stand on them but didn’t tell them ahead of time about the nice, cool air… (insert sneaky laugh)

Preparing to leave. It was a long, fabulous week.

Final tally: 20 pictures out of 468 from this event.

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About quinnmburgess

Quinn M. Burgess creates reproduction and costume historic clothing. Her inspiration has a strong foundation in history: historic dress, social history, and material history. With the addition of clothing construction knowledge, her passions converge in an imaginative world of creative history that she loves to share with others.
Gallery | This entry was posted in 1890s, 19th Century, Dictionary Definitions, Galleries, Newport Vintage Dance Week 2012, Vintage Dancing: 19th Century, Wearing Reproduction Clothing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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