Follow in Jane’s footsteps.

Visitors to the ‘Jane Austen’s Bath’ exhibition at the Bath & North East Somerset Council-run Victoria Art Gallery will be able to experience an authentic display of Georgian and Regency dancing – and even learn a few steps themselves – next month.

The Jane Austen themed exhibition at Bath's Victoria Art Gallery. Click on images to enlarge.
The Jane Austen themed exhibition at Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery. Click on images to enlarge.

The Bath Minuet and Jane Austen Dancers will be dancing in full period costume, in sets, at late openings of the exhibition on Thursdays during August. They will also be chatting to visitors about the dances, music and their Georgian and Regency costumes. The Thursday evening openings have been made possible by funding from Arts Council England to the Bath Museums Partnership.

Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones (Conservative, Lansdown), the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “By opening its doors in the evening, The Victoria Art Gallery is giving more people access to new cultural activities and encouraging the vibrant evening economy in Bath. We’re grateful to the support of the Bath Museums Partnership and Arts Council England.”

The two dance troupes, made up of dancers from Bath and North East Somerset and Wiltshire, are very different in costume style, music and dance. The Bath Minuet Dancers are Georgian dancers and the Jane Austen Dancers are Regency dancers.

The Bath Minuet Dancers will be in the gallery from 5 – 7pm on August 6 and 13; and the Jane Austen Dancers on August 20 and 27, also 5 – 7pm. The groups will perform twice each evening.

The period dance displays and entrance to the exhibition are free to Discovery Card holders and under 21s; standard entry is £3.50 with concessions available. No booking required.

The ‘Jane Austen’s Bath’ exhibition contains some of the gallery’s best watercolours and prints, so visitors can see the Bath that Austen saw on her visits here. Based around views from the period when she was actually here, you can step back in time and experience the Bath Austen saw and the local places and entertainments so vividly depicted in Persuasion and Northanger Abbey.

There is also a programme of talks, tours and walks organised:

Lunchtime exhibition tours
Every Thursday, 12.30-13.10. Free to Discovery Card and ticket holders.

Jane Austen walks
Walks with the Mayor’s Guides start from the Abbey Church Yard at 11am and finish at the Victoria Art Gallery and take place as follows:
Tuesdays July 21 & 28; Tuesday August 4, Friday August 14, Sunday August 23, Friday September 11, Sunday September 27, Wednesday September 30.

There will also be Jane Austen themed talks on: Wednesday 9, 16 and 23 September, 1.10-1.45pm; free; in the Guildhall, Bath. No tickets required, just turn up

The ‘Jane Austen’s Bath’ exhibition runs until October 4. Outside the special Thursday evening openings, the gallery is open from 10am – 5pm Tuesday – Saturday, 1.30-5pm on Sundays and is closed on Mondays.