Andrew was dragged kicking and screaming to his first country dance as a teenager in the 60s. Initial reluctance overcome, he was quickly attracted to the dances and their music and went on to gain a basic grounding from some of the more fearsome instructors of the day. But it was not until many years later, inspired by his friend and mentor, Tom Cook, that the pleasurable social activity was to develop into an enthralling interest in and enthusiasm for the history and performance of the English Country Dance. As an interpreter and exponent of these dances he teaches at weekends, festivals and other courses at home and abroad. For a list of his forthcoming engagements, click here.
In 2001 Andrew inaugurated his own annual
dance weekend at Halsway Manor in
Andrew’s interest in the dances of the late
17th and early 18th centuries, especially those composed
by Nathaniel Kynaston, has resulted in the publication of five dance
collections to date:- Mr. Kynaston‘s Famous Dance in 2000, The She
Favourite in 2002, Emperor of the Moon in 2006, Farnicle Huggy
in 2009 and Elephants Stairs in 2017. The She Favourite also
throws light on the activities of the little-known dancing-master Richard
Motley, whilst Farnicle Huggy features dances “Compos’d by a Person
of Quality Recommended to Mr. Nathaniel Kynaston”. The recordings accompanying
the first three collections all feature Paul Hutchinson on accordion: the first
two in association with Paul Sartin on violin and oboe as Belshazzar’s
Feast, and the third in association with John Hymas on violin and viola.
The last two were recorded in
In-between times, in 2004, Andrew also edited The Dances of Brian Wedgbury, in memory of this fine dance composer and near-neighbour who died in 2002. The book and accompanying CD by John and Sue Stapledon on English concertina, keyboards and violin contain the notation and music for all 22 dances written by Brian.