Historic Ryde Society

‘Giving Ryde’s Past to the Future’

Historic Ryde Society Quiz Night Thursday 28 September 2023 at Yelf's Hotel, at 7p.m. for 7.30pm.

1 JULY 1875

MATINEE DANSANTE DE MADAME DE HAYES GEORGE – Hearing so much of Madame George, and her Academie, we availed ourselves of an opportunity on Friday of witnessing a Matinee Dansante in the New Town Hall, in which, during several of the past winter seasons, Madame George has held her Academie. Not only were we not disappointed in our anticipations, but intensely gratified. A large number of the elite of the town and neighbourhood assembled to witness the progress their little sons and daughters (there was a preponderance of daughters) had made, and gratified to the fullest extent all must have been at the result, whilst the dansante in itself was a capital entertainment. The area of that large room is not more than is required for her large class. The programme was as follows:
Part 1

  1. March The Men of Harlech
  2. Quadrille Palermo
  3. Polka Mazurka Marie
  4. Exercises La Lyre d’Apollon
  5. Dancers La Fille de Mdme Angot
  6. Mazurka Quadrille Julien
  7. Galop a trios temps Chimes

Part 2

  1. Imperial Quadrille Louis d’Egville
  2. Valse a trios temps Doctrinen
  3. Parisian Quadrille Gorilla
  4. 11.Galop Saucy Kate
  5. Polonaise The Gipsy

The march, the young ladies advancing in three rows from the back to the front of the room, and then receding, was very pretty, and with the series of exercises (No 4), form a most important feature in the class. The exercises eclipse the march in attractiveness, but the objects effected in both cases are a true lady-like deportment, and muscular development – and Madame George has, evidently, the power of imparting to others such a grace as she herself possesses in a marked degree. The dancing – dancing to the perfection to which the pupils are taught in this case – is an accomplishment almost a necessity for them) which they will value more when a few years have added to their youth and beauty – but the calisthenic exercises promote grace of movement and strength of body. Madame George has strong recommendation from the medical profession as to the beneficial effects on the health of children (by expanding the chest, exercising every joint, &c.), and the deportment, from the exercises through which she puts her pupils; and we can say that such exercises must be most valuable, and that not only on Friday was there grace in every step, but in their every movement. In the mainly ornamental part of the programme, the mazurka quadrille was the thing of the afternoon, and the company could not refrain from a loud burst of applause, which both children and mistress fully deserved. The eight who danced this were in white dresses with blue sashes (from shoulder to waist) and head ribbons, and the top “gentleman” specially distinguished “her”-self, though all acquitted themselves in first-class style, with an effect that was wonderfully pretty and interesting. Many a ballet on the stage is not nearly so attractive. In other portions of the programme every pupil present joined, creating a strikingly pretty spectacle – with the sun shining through the sky-lights on the fairy-like forms, in tastily-made white dresses, tripping over the floor. It was most amusing too to watch the zest and emulation with which some, mere babes, with their radiant faces, and sparkling eyes, entered upon their duties. The pupils were evidently in different stages, but each was perfected so far as she had gone, in spite of the largeness of the class – none had been neglected. The way in which the Imperial Quadrille, Lancers, &c., was gone through deserves especial mention – en passant we think that if ladies and gentlemen who dance 16-Lancers were to take a few lessons before they next do so they might hope to attain to the perfection they desire, and equal these juveniles – which is rarely the case – but in all cases here, it was noticeable that the dancing was not simply to a set form of steps, &c.,into which they had been drilled, but to music. We consider the pupils fortunate in being able to receive Madame George’s tuition – they could hardly be better taught, that is evident from the perfection they have attained, and her modus operandi  – the pupils certainly do her credit. Madame George, who is a daughter of Monsieur de Hayes, of the Academie Royale, Paris, and pupil of Madame Louise Michau, of London; and who has taught in London and abroad, is evidently an artiste and not an ordinary teacher – Miss Kirkman, (niece of Mrs Anderson, pianist to the Queen) presided at the pianoforte. – Between the first and second parts, refreshments were provided for the pupils, this being the first meeting of the season.


A SKATING RINK IN RYDE – We are pleased to find that an open air skating rink, which must prove a source of interest and attraction to residents and visitors, has been opened in Ryde. It is a private speculation, the proprietors being Col. Hall and Mr West; we hope they will be amply repayed, for additional attractions are wanted in Ryde to counteract the drawbacks. The rink is a very large one, and of best Portland cement, and all the latest improvements are introduced. In the centre the space is to be utilized for a band stand and garden, and when completed, the rink, (which is situated on the marshes, near the Gas Works, and accessible via Monkton Street or St John’s Park) will be a superior one in every respect. Wednesday last was the opening day, and the proprietors must have been gratified to see about 500 ladies and gentlemen attending, the bulk of them enjoying themselves at the exciting and health giving exercise. The annual subscription is very low, and therefore we expect soon to see a long list. Even spectators may spend an hour or two most enjoyably at the rink, especially on the days when a military band is in attendance – Wednesdays and Saturdays. The “Plimpton” skate is used. Further particulars are afforded elsewhere.


A GRAND OPERATIC CONCERT – was given in the Town Hall on Thursday evening – one of the best it has been our good fortune to hear – but as usual when there are first-class entertainments, the attendance was miserably small, especially in the front benches, where one would have expected to find most. We are not so much concerned at Mr Aylward’s continued losses as at the fact that the first-class entertainments must cease in Ryde, and those who could and would enjoy them miss real musical treats. – The artistes were Mddle Jose Sherrington, Miss Helen d’Alton, Signor M Rocca, Signor Bianchi, and Signor Brignoll (of Her Majesty’s Opera), with Cavaliere Campana as conductor. If people do not care to attend, we presume they would not read a critique, so we save ourselves unnecessary trouble.

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