Living History, Dance Workshop Series Bring British Isles to Orcas

Sunday, June 25, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., Orcas Center

Thursday – Saturday, June 22-June 24, Random Howse

— from Susannah Weaver for Orcas Center —

From the British Islands to Orcas Island, Tames Alan, Living Historian presents an event series at Random Howse and a Celtic Dance workshop followed by a performance lecture at Orcas Center. Tames Alan is an actress, historian, and fashion history teacher who has combined her skills to create Living History Lectures for people of all ages.

From the mists of time, music and dance have intertwined throughout the lives of the Celts. It has become so integrated into the Celtic culture that it has become a way to preserve their identity through troubled times. Ceilidh (pronounced Kay-lee) dances started out as gatherings in people’s homes. Family, friends, and neighbors got together to play music, sing, dance, and read poetry. The dance was a way to keep the bardic traditions alive, especially when they were suppressed by those in power. Alan’s Living History Celtic Dance workshop offers a choice of three simple Scottish ceilidh dances. The workshop is on Sunday, June 25 at 3 p.m. in the Madrona Room at Orcas Center.

In the program, “Learning Among the Oak Grove: A Look at Celtic life,” on Sunday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m., Alan describes what it was like to live in ancient Britain and explains the hierarchy of the Celtic tribe and the binding factors between the tribes–the Druids and Bards. She also discusses the Celtic holidays and the special relationship Celts had with the lands and waters they worshipped. Part of her program centers on Celtic women and their training as wives, warriors, and leaders of worship.

Tickets are $8 which includes both the Celtic dance workshop at 3 p.m. and the performance at 7:30 p.m. in the Madrona Room at Orcas Center.

Random Howse will host six events with Tames Alan June 22-June 24. On June 22, Alan will present Dining at Downton: A Trial by Fork from 8 – 9 p.m. followed by Life in Service at Downton Abbey from 9:30 – 10:30 p.m.. Alan demystifies the manners, menu, and accoutrements of a formal 12-course dinner as would have been eaten upstairs at Downton Abbey before the outbreak of World War One. In From the Streets of Shakespeare to the Court of Elizabeth, Alan changes into an authentic, 62-piece Elizabethan court costume with full makeup and describes the life and times in Elizabeth’s court and answers questions from the audience. The Elizabethan court event is on June 23, 8 – 9:30 p.m.and is sponsored by the Orcas Island Library at Random Howse –entrance by donation. Elizabethan Country Dance Workshop offers a choice of two dances—Gathering Peascods, a simple circle dance and a more advanced dance called Goddesses on June 24, 2 – 3 p.m.–followed by a Swing Dance Workshop from 9 p.m.– 10 p.m..

Tickets for Celtic Dance Workshop and Learning Among the Oak Groves are $8 and may be purchased at, by calling 376-2281 ext. 1, or visiting the Orcas Center Box Office open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 12-3 p.m. $5 subsidized tickets available at the Box Office. For more information about Orcas Center’s 2017 season visit

Reservations and tickets for Random Howse events are available at

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