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Lucy Worsley's Reins of Power: The Art of Horse Dancing

Lucy Worsley learns the 17th-century art of horse ballet, leading up to a public performance. She explores its origins, witnesses displays abroad and discovers its legacies.

Strictly Come Prancing: Lucy Worsley learns to ride - in fact, she learns how to dance on horseback before putting on a show for the paying public!

Now, if this sounds mad, horse ballet or manege was once the noblest of pursuits practised by everyone from courtier to king in the first half of the 17th century. Having become fascinated by this horsey hobby whilst writing her PhD, Lucy is on a quest to find out why this peculiar skill was once so de rigeur - learning the lost art from its modern masters, visiting the Spanish Riding School in Vienna to witness spectacular equestrian shows, exploring its military origins through donning Henry VIII-style jousting armour, and discovering horse ballet's legacies in competitive dressage and, more surprisingly, in the performances of the Royal Horse Artillery, the King's Troop today.

1 hour

Last on

Mon 29 Apr 2019 23:10

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:29

    Nils Frahm


  • 00:40

    New York Philharmonic, Dimitri Mitropoulos

    Romeo and Juliet, Suite No. 2, Op. 64Ter: I. The Montagues and Capulets


Role Contributor
Presenter Lucy Worsley
Production Company Million Media
Executive Producer Lionel Mill
Producer Nick Gillam-Smith
Director Nick Gillam-Smith