I, Dr John Gardiner-Garden, keep a pretty low profile but have worked hard for 20 years to produce resources that might help keep our most precious dance heritage alive. On the appended sub-pages you will find information on 18 such resources which I have produced and an electronic shop through which you can place orders.
Under Historic Dance I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX and X you can glimpse the covers and contents of my now-at-last ready-to-order 10 volume 7,000 page guide to social dance from 1450 to 1900. Please see note of further explanation below.
Under Historic Dance Companion you will find a volume of indexes and dance/music extracts that offer short cuts for those working with all 10 of the above volumes.
Under Lost Dances of Earthly Delights Volume 1 and Volume 2 you can discover the books and CD sets (the result of a 6 year project) that will open up to you the music and dance world of the Bordonians.
Under The Christmas Carol Dance Book you can find out about a work which is a must for anyone who wants to bring song and dance together in the festive season.
Under Early works you can learn of my now out-of-print (and unorderable) early dance brochures and books and my first award-winning book & 2CD set.
A further note concerning my 10 Volume Historic Dance.
After nearly 10 years of working on this magnum opus (during which there was only ad hoc release of parts and drafts for friends use and comments), here at last is the edition I'd like everyone to have. It's hard to know how best to describe such a mammoth work. The short way might be to say it's the resource you've always wished someone had written. The longer way might be to say there are 10 chronologically framed volumes each of between 640 and 740 A4 pages. Each volume is divided into five parts. In Part 1, Dance Context, I consider the social, political and geographic context in which dance was evolving and the continuities and changes in the institution of the ball. In Part 2: Dance Forms, I explore the nature and evolution of the period’s main types of dance. In Part 3, Dance Technicalities, I offer sections on ‘Style’, ‘Etiquette’, ‘Honours’, ‘Holds’, ‘Formations’, ‘Figures’ and ‘Steps’. In Part 4, Dances in Detail—the longest part—I offer my reconstructions of, and music for, dozens of dances and dance variants. In Part 5: Dancing Masters, I discuss developments in dance teaching, notation and publication, and offer an annotated bibliography of relevant primary sources. In every part of every volume I have placed an emphasis on original sources and have built my discussions around hundreds of included facsimiles, transcriptions, translations and illustrations.
There are many subjects/sources/dances I’d still like to explore, permissions I’d still like to seek and improvements I’d still like to make, but it’s become apparent to me no-one lives forever, that the work is benefiting no-one while it stays on my computer, that correspondence with people and libraries will be easier when they can see the useful work I’m engaged in, and that the work is too big now for me alone to give it all the reading, pondering, playing, dancing and use it needs in order to be improved. For all these reasons I’ve ruled a line, have presented everything I’ve done in the most attractive way my publishing skills allow and am now ready to let it go forth.
As I have no grant or salary or society helping me with this project, as the costs to our family budget (not to mention my eye sight!) have been considerable, and as I believe in the utility of the book form I now have ready to go, I am obliged to sell the work, but have kept the price as low as possible.
Which volumes to choose? As I am myself more concerned with sources and dance evolution than any of modern day recreational categorisations, as there are many sources used that you might not expect, and as there are many linkages across all the volumes, I would encourage you to get not just what you imagine to be the ‘essential’ volumes for your interest but also the volumes that are either side of the period you first think of. Indeed, if you are at all interested in historic dance I’d encourage you to get the full set (and we've devised a way you can do this at a substantial saving). You will not be disappointed!
I'm happy to receive any questions and would love to receive back constructive comments and corrections - so please do keep in touch.