This is an archive of the 2019 Mad Robin Ball web site. To learn about the upcoming Mad Robin Ball, see our current ball page.

Mad Robin Staff

Our Dancing Master:

Andrew Shaw

Andrew was dragged kicking and screaming to his first country dance as a teenager in the '60s. He was quickly enthralled and went on to learn from some of the more fearsome dance instructors of the day.

Andrew is known for his reconstructions of dances of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, resulting in five published dance collections to date: Mr. Kynaston's Famous Dance, The She Favourite, Emperor of the Moon, Farnicle Huggy, and Elephant Stairs. Many of the dances Andrew has chosen for this ball are in none of these collections, as they are too new to have been published. So we look forward to discovering some of our new favorites as we await his next book!

Andrew teaches with clarity, (British) wit, and an emphasis on style. He lives in Cheshire where he runs the Lemmings Reprieve Dance Club -- a name that oddly but neatly sums up his belief in the life-enhancing qualities of this dance form.

Andrew Shaw photo



Persons of Quality

Andrew Shaw has worked closely with John Berger, Rebecca King, and Jim Oakden to bring to dance life the old tunes of the 17th- and early 18th-century dances he has reconstructed. They have recorded three albums of these tunes to date and played for dance events all over the US as well as England and Italy. Check out their recordings at Persons of Quality.

Musicians picture

Jon Berger

Jon Berger started playing violin in the fourth grade, but didn't find out about folk music until, while working as a stage technician for the Palo Alto Youth Theater Workshop, he was asked to learn some Irish fiddle tunes to play in the background during a production of Brendan Behan's "The Hostage." He has been playing for English, Irish, Scottish, French, and American folk dancers for over 35 years.

Rebecca King

Rebecca King s a versatile dance pianist, conductor, and composer, whose strong classical training and love of jazz shows in her rhythmic and lyric piano accompaniments. She plays English and contra dance in the greater San Francisco Bay area and has been on staff at west coast dance camps, weekends, and balls and at Pinewoods. By day, she teaches music in the Sonoma Valley schools. In addition to her albums with Persons of Quality, Rebecca has recorded an album of mostly English Country Dance tunes of her own composition, available at her web site.

Jim Oakden

Jim Oaken started playing piano and clarinet at an early age and stumbled into early music from the classical music scene. After six years performing early music, he discovered the world of traditional and ethnic music. Having diverse tastes, he has played in many bands and performs on an absurd number of instruments, including accordion, mandolin, several styles of bagpipes, recorders, whistle and zurna (to name but a few). A dancer himself, he specializes in playing for dancers in a bunch of bands for ECD, contra, morris, Irish, Breton/French, Greek, and Bulgarian. He has been on staff at myriad dance camps throughout the country. In addition to his albums with Persons of Quality he has recorded six albums of Impropriety with the band Roguery.





Last modified 3/4/19 by MRB webmaster