Newport Vintage Dance Week Part XI: A Fond Farewell To 2012

This is so neat! Bill Cunningham (the sweetest man, who photographs for the New York Times) included CVD’s Newport Vintage Dance Week in his “Fond Farewell to 2012” photo spread. Even cooler, one of the pictures he took of “the young set” is top and center! Look, there I am on the left! We were doing a silly Charleston, though I’m not sure that totally helps explain our positions… but we do look like we’re having fun, anyway. I am so pleased to be included in an event on the same page as these other big name events. It’s really cool! Check it out below, or click here to see the full page.

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Once again, Bill Cunningham, I am honored to say thank you!

If you missed out, or just want to re-live the awesomeness, I posted lots of posts about Newport Vintage Dance Week a few months ago, including lovely pictures of the balls and teas as well as two other all Newport Vintage Dance Week photo spreads from Bill Cunningham that were in the New York Times. You can see all of them by clicking here.

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Newport Vintage Dance Week Part X: Newport in the New York Times

Newport Vintage Dance Week 2012 made it into the New York Times! There were two spreads of Bill Cunningham’s photos. How fabulous is that?

Wow! There was also a video (really a slide show) of images with Bill Cunningham speaking in the background about the week. You can view the video here on the New York Times website. Even just his voice gives you a feeling for Bill Cunningham’s wonderful attention to all of the attendees at Newport. Here are just a few pictures of him taking photos of us. If you’ve been reading my previous blog posts about Newport you will have seen these before…

Thanks Bill Cunningham! This marks the end of the marathon of awesome-ness that was Newport. Don’t worry, though, there are plenty of other awesome adventures coming soon and in the far future! Thanks for sharing with me!

I also want to mention, as a final note to this post, that this is my 100th post on this blog! Time flies when you’re having fun! Here’s to another 100 posts!

Newport Vintage Dance Week Part IX: You Thought The Week Was Over?

I thought so, too! I was all prepared to go to sleep on Friday night… but instead I wound up staying up until about 6am! What was I doing all night, you ask? Just hanging out and enjoying the company of my fellow TNG-ers. We spent a lot of time putting on as much bling as we could find: it was kind of like the game from my childhood “Pretty Pretty Princess.” Did you ever play that game? Basically, you have to collect certain pieces of plastic jewelry to win… We were using our many stashes of sparkly historic bling instead of plastic jewelry.

You can see the state our common room was in by this point in the week after all the sewing. Only three of us made it to 6am, when we went outside to see the sunrise… and realized it was so foggy that the whole sky looked like the window in this picture. Clearly, this was not one of the people who was still awake for that adventure…

When it was all said and done we had thousands of pictures and so many really fabulous memories and new friends. Whee! I’m so pleased to have shared the silly-ness with you. I’ve got only one more post to do about Newport…

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.

Newport Vintage Dance Week Part VII: Glen Manor Continued

TNG: What more can I say?

At the very end of my first post about the Ragtime evening event at Glen Manor, I had just shared with you our series of pictures of the “young set” spelling out our most recent acronym: TNG. You’ll have to read the captions in the pictures of the that post to see what it stands for, because this post is moving on to pictures of the Ragtime ball. Before I start on pictures, I just have to share that this ball had the most fantastic food catered for our dinner. I don’t know what company catered it, unfortunately, but it was spectacular and delicious! We all ate generous first and second helpings and were super full… but it was SO good!

The light was fading as we returned from our adventures down by the water and on the dock… This is the back side of Glen Manor with the lights on in the downstairs rooms and the twilight sky behind.
The orchestra for the night. I believe this is the New River Orchestra.
The doors were thrown wide open to the patio and gardens, which allowed for picturesque viewing of the dancers.
This was one of the venues in which the dancers progressed through a series of small-ish rooms.
It was fun to look in and watch people dance. Because they were traveling through different rooms there were always new people to watch.
There were lots of really beautiful gowns to admire.
Dancers in the main ballroom.
The interior of one of the beautiful rooms.
The fabulous red carpeted staircase. Not quite as grand as Rosecliff or Ochre Court, but still beautiful.
Most members of TNG lounging on the stairs.
One of our faithful cameramen caught lounging without a camera in hand!
None of the young set danced very much, but there were a few times we stood up and danced. This is one of them.
And another, blurry, picture of members of the young set actually dancing.
Photographic proof the Scott the Portsmouth Policeman danced (and with one of our own young set–as well as many other dancers).
On the left is Scott the Policeman. Elsewhere are other wonderfully dressed dancers.
We may not look like we’re dancing, but we had just finished a tango. One of the few times the young set danced.
We did get up to dance the Charleston!
And we basically had the room to ourselves, which meant we could be super silly!
A silly Charleston figure called something like “shine your shoes.”
Charleston in a line. A TNG favorite.
The traditional TNG “raise the roof” Charleston! (It’s like patting your head and rubbing your stomach… to Charleston while raising the roof! You should try it!)
Follow the leader. Now everyone is doing the “raise the roof” Charleston!
Double trouble! We caught one of our TNG faithful photographers and Bill Cunningham in the same picture!
I believe at least some of us are doing the “flying Charleston” in this picture.
Yay! We Charleston-ed!
We’re all laughing and smiling! Doesn’t it look like a wonderful time? Don’t you just want to jump in the photo and join us?
Two fabulous TNG-ers.
The fearless leader of TNG and the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers. What a fabulous fan! Doesn’t it just scream for sillyness?
Well, here you go! Sillyness! (Can you tell that it’s her tail? Like a peacock?)
Okay, I’m not actually asleep… but the stairs were a pretty comfy place to relax… Clearly, it is nearing bed time.
“Follow the moon path!” I said, knowing you can’t actually follow the moon path over the water. It’s a good metaphor for life though, to follow your dreams.
Last view of Glen Manor that night, with the lights on and the rising moon. So lovely!

Final tally: 72 pictures between 2 posts out of a total of 1,266 pictures total for this event. Not bad, I say.

Newport Vintage Dance Week Part VI: Ragtime Dinner and Ball at Glen Manor

The next formal event at Newport was a Ragtime Dinner Reception and Formal Ball held at Glen Manor House in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Glen Manor was designed by renowned architect John Russell Pope to resemble the Petit Trianon at Versailles. Construction began in 1921 and the house was completed in 1923.

It is truly lovely inside and out, as you will soon see in the photos! I have 1,266 pictures from that evening… and even though I’ve slimmed down the number I’m going to share with you I’m going to have to break the evening up into two posts. The first part will be before the ball and the second part during and after the ball.

The exterior of Glen Manor.
One of the ladies’ changing rooms just off of the entrance hallway.
Once I passed through the rooms, this was the view that greeted me.
The magnificent garden was also behind the main house.
Before dinner we took some group photos. While standing in the group I took the opportunity to snap a shot of Bill Cunningham taking photos of us! We were a little afraid for his safety on the ladder, so you can see people keeping careful watch.
This is Scott, from the Portsmouth Police. He has worked this particular event in years past and really loved it; indeed, he jiggled his work schedule around to join us again this year. He was so excited by the historic clothing that he had purchased a historic uniform to wear just for the event!
After the group photo the four of us and our faithful photographers set out to be silly and take beautiful pictures.
One of our faithful photographers caught Bill Cunningham (another of our faithful photographers) taking photos of us! It was really magical to have Bill Cunningham hurrying to catch our pictures! At one point he said he would “stop bothering us for five minutes” and then five minutes later he was back again, saying “I couldn’t resist, it’s been five minutes!”
The picture Bill Cunningham was trying to capture included frantic waving of the arms…
Running around is a returning theme for us. This time we were just enjoying the beauty and being silly.
Striking theatrical poses under the trees…
I think we resemble the Muses…
There were so many lovely flowers in the garden! We found some to match each of our dresses!
Flowers to match the burgundy in my dress.
Looking the other way. I think I like the first one better, but this is lovely as well.
Purple, white, and green!
Those hibiscus flowers were huge! And they matched so well!
There was also this lovely hydrangea bush that looked so droopy we just had to imitate it.
Peek a boo!
Elegantly perched.
One more panorama of the garden, because it is just so lovely!
After being in the gardens awhile we began to be drawn toward the water…
But decided to turn and take another picture before heading down the hill.
Heading down the hill toward the water.
At water’s edge. Literally, the water was lapping at the rocks just a few feet away.
Silly time!
Looking to our left, we noticed that enticing dock…
So naturally we had to go and investigate!
Diving in! With a red moon rising beyond the water.
The sun was obviously setting as the moon was rising. We stood on the end of the dock, thinking of the Great Gatsby, pointing across the water at the moon, and talking of West Egg and the green light.
Looking off into the distance and enjoying the twilight.
The sash on the left was another of my last minute creations. 
There was a breeze and we just had to soak in the atmosphere. So magical!
Don’t you just want to jump into the picture and join us?
By this point in the week the “young set” had taken on the name TNG “The Next Generation” (of the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers). We’re trying to spell TNG, but the N is hard to see and the G is a little like a blob…
So we tried again with all caps. Can you see it?
Now do you see it?
The new name sparked many bouts of Star Trek references… I hope that you see the connection!

I leave you for now, in a magical twilight world with TNG.

Newport Vintage Dance Week Part V: Ochre Court Continued

So ends the first ever Speed Virginia Reel.

Last post, I left you just at the completion of our young set’s Speed Virginia Reel. This post is going to be a continuation of Ochre Court pictures, because there were too many I wanted to share for just one post. At the end of the ball we decided to get some young people pictures on the fabulous red carpeted stair case in the entry way, so that is where we begin Ochre Court pictures: part II.

Congregating on the stairs. If you look closely, you can see the flower clump casualty on my dress.
Such a lovely group of young people.
Of course, we’re all very tired after our exertions…
But that doesn’t stop us from taking animal pictures!
Which made us laugh pretty hard.
Bill Cunningham caught us taking photos on the stairs and was very excited. BUT… We caught Bill Cunningham taking pictures of us on the stairs!
Halfway up the stairs, pretending to jump!
A close up…
Another view. It was particularly amusing to us because we were tired and the floor below the stairs is marble, so obviously one would not actually want to jump over the railing…
Okay, now we’re trying to be serious and look like we’re having casual conversations.
And now we’re being elegant. Look! Bill Cunningham!
Descending the stairs with camera flashes going off as though I was a celebrity!
But I’m not… I’m just me, missing a flower clump… backed by young men in tails…
Momentary relaxation between photos…
This was the skirt puddle pose which followed the traditional jellyfish dance… (aka all of us jumping up and down in a clump and moving through the rooms before suddenly plopping and letting our skirts billow around us).
While being a jellyfish I lost a second clump of flowers! I didn’t think I had sewn them on so loosely!
So sad. You know it’s a good ball when your dress suffers injuries not once, but twice!
Oh my! Tartan drawers to match the tartan dress!
I was so happy to just BE in Ochre Court. Do you get that feeling from this picture? I’m just soaking it all in.
Exuberant might be a better word for me.
“I love Ochre Court THIS much!”
Posing by the fireplace in the white room. Isn’t it lovely?
Don’t we look fabulous???
The necessary bum picture, particularly amusing when wearing hoops.
One last glimpse of the back lawn before we pack up to leave.
I LOVE Ochre Court. I just wanted to drink it in as much as I possibly could.

That was a long one! But you made it! Thanks for sticking with me through all those photos. I sincerely hope that you were able to get a feeling of excitement and unrestrained happiness from the pictures that matched even half of my feelings from that night. It was truly spectacular. Thanks to all my lovely friends for assisting me in having such a marvelous time.

Final tally: 66 pictures from this event between two posts out of 1047 possible Ochre Court pictures… Honestly, I don’t think I did too terribly narrowing them down, considering the possibilities!