On Sunday 1st October 2017, The Belles of London City will be hosting a day of dance to celebrate the life of Maud Karpeles (1885-1976), with New Esperance Morris, Dacre Morris, Camden Clog, and Tower Ravens Rapper.
This includes visiting and dancing in places that were important to Maud and remembering her contribution to folk dance.
12.00-13.00 – Kensington Gardens – Albert Memorial
In 1935 Maud organised the first ever international folk dance festival which was held in Hyde Park. Considered to be a great success she also managed to calm tight political tensions between participating counties by careful arrangements of the order of countries appearance during the parade. After a hiatus in activities for WWII the 1935 festival eventually led to the formation of the International Folk Music Council in 1946. The council, which changed its name to the International Council for Traditional Music continues to support academic research into music and dance.
13.45- 15.00 – 33 Lancaster Gate W2 3LP
Maud was born into a wealthy family. Her father, who was born in Germany was a tea merchant. 33 Lancaster Gate was Maud’s first home. Maud was one of five children, her sister Helen also fell in love with folk dance and married Douglas Kennedy, who later became the director of the EFDSS.
16.00-17.00 – Cecil Sharp House 2 Regent’s Park Rd, London NW1 7AY
Maud was a close colleague of Cecil Sharp. She went on collecting trips with him (and other trips on her own) edited his publications and went on to write his biography. She was instrumental in the fundraising effort to purchase and built Cecil Sharp house in his honour after his death in 1924. After her death in 1976 a silver birch was planted in the garden in her memory, the tree said to represent her graceful dancing style.
18.00-19.00 – St Sepulchre’s Church, Holborn Viaduct, London EC1A 2DQ
Born into a non-practicing Jewish faith Maud converted to Christianity and was baptised later in life. Her funeral service was held here, in the Church known as ‘The Musicians Church’, which was fitting considering Maud’s great contribution to the collection of traditional material from England, America, and Newfoundland.
If the weather looks dire the event will be cancelled by 10am, with updates on the Belles of London City Facebook Page.