Gordon in the News: last updated 12/11/2009

A Dickens’ Christmas Dance: Community Invited to First Fezziwig Ball at Salem’s Old Town Hall

December 3, 2009
Jo Kadlecek
Office of College Communications
This holiday season many will celebrate Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol through books, movies and plays. North Shore residents, though, are invited to experience Dickens in a unique evening of dance and merriment at the first Fezziwig Ball. The Fezziwig Ball—cosponsored by The Gordon College Institute for Public History and The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers—will be held at Salem’s Old Town Hall on Saturday, December 19 at 8 p.m.
As Dickens wrote of his character’s Christmas dance: “Old Fezziwig laid down his pen. . . .He rubbed his hands; adjusted his capacious waistcoat; laughed all over himself. . . ‘Yo ho, my boys!’ said Fezziwig. ‘No more work tonight. Christmas Eve’ . . . . Clear away! . . . It was done in a minute. . . . In they all came, one after nother; some shyly, some boldly, some gracefully, some awkwardly, some pushing, some pulling; in they all came, anyhow and every how.”
The Fezziwig Ball will capture the essence of Christmas at the time of A Christmas Carol and will include period music, dance and performances by local actors as Dickens’ characters. Dances will include Victorian favorites such as "Pop Goes the Weasel" and "Sir Roger de Coverly", and will also feature waltzes and polkas. During the intermission English refreshments will be served. Caroling and a lantern procession through historic Salem—from East India Square to Old Town Hall—will occur before the Ball begins.
“Throughout the evening we’ll be greeted by The Spirit of Christmas Past, an old-fashioned Father Christmas, and entertained by Old Fezziwig himself,” said Kristina Stevick, artistic director of History Alive. “I think an old-fashioned, dress-up Christmas Ball is a natural match in Old Town Hall. We’re really excited about it." 

Many simple and historic dances will be taught as the evening unfolds. For those unfamiliar, a dance workshop will be offered on December 11 at 8 p.m. in the Old Town Hall and is included in the admission price to the Ball.
For ticket and other information visit http://vintagedancers.org/fezziwig.html. Costumes from Dickens’ era are recommended for the Ball though modern formal wear is also appropriate. Tickets for the Fezziwig Ball may be purchased online or by mailing a check or money order to: Fezziwig’s Ball c/o CVD P.O., Box 9, Nahant, MA 01908 after printing out a registration form. Cost is $30 ($25 advance purchase) for adults; $15 for youths ages of 13 to 17 years.
For additional information on the Gordon College Institute for Public History, visit www.gordon.edu/historyalive, or contact Sarah Di Frances at History Alive! 262.443.1051.


Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston’s North Shore. The College offers majors in 36 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation’s top Christian colleges.


Illustration from Dickens A Christmas Carol