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Dancing through the Ages Book 1: Orientation and Overview


The latest edition of Dancing through the Ages will be available to order in late August 2020. 

By all means peruse the covers and contents shown below and on the other related Books & CDs menu webpages, but please hold off ordering till the final proof of the work is o.k.ed, the information on the publisher's site is updated and this sign disappears— all due to happen in mid-August.

To receive advice of a launch special  email us


Dancing through the Ages is work consisting of 31 books.  Each book consists of between 300 and 460 (average 350) double-sided A4 pages. The 10,800 pages of the work offer background on, reconstruction of, and chorded music for nearly 1,000 dances from between from 1400 to 1900, as well as extensive notes analysing links between these dances, the evolution of dance forms, movement ideas and notation systems through this 500 period, and the changing nature of ball culture and dance sources in countries across the old and new word.  The whole is supported by thousands of quotations, diagrams and illustrations from original sources.

Here below is the front cover and contents to Book 1: Orientation and Overview that includes full acknowledgments, a consolidated contents, bibliography of secondary scholarship, a history of dance leading up to 1400, and sections on the purpose of dance and scope of this work, on story-lines and ideas that have persisted through 500 years of dance, and on continuities and changes in the nature of balls and dance forms. 

For the covers and contents of the next 30 volumes see the subpages that follow under this menu. 

To order any or all of the books in this 31-book series go to (PUBLISHER's WEBSITE ORDER PAGE LINK TO APPEAR HERE MID AUGUST 2020 when grand work is finally available!).  The cost per book will be AUD$35 (about USD$25) - plus postage, which will diminish with the more books in your order. As your books will be sent from the nearest Lulu printer on your continent, you will not be paying for overseas shipping and will not be waiting long for the books to arrive. Orders are normally filled at local postage rates within a week.  

N.B. I recommend that in addition to ordering the books pertaining to the period you first think of, you also order books from the adjacent period collections plus the invaluable Book 1: 'Orientation and Overview'.  Indeed, because of the interconnectivity of dance over the 500 years covered by this series (and the cross-referencing between books in the series), I highly recommend the full set!

If you are able to collect from our home in Canberra Australia, I may be able to offer you a special no-postage price on a full-set. Phone 62811098 or email us

PART A: 

Introduction to the series ~ 10

Plea and acknowledgements ~ 11

Plea ~ 11

Acknowledgements ~ 12

Notes on need ~ 14

The need to compensate for relative neglect ~ 14

The need to bridge the scholarly/practical divide ~ 15

The need to better understand and preserve our dance heritage ~ 15

The need to better value source material ~ 16

The need to better involve young people ~ 17

Approaches and limitations ~ 19

A ‘Natural History’ of dance ~ 19

Approach to the subject ~ 19

Approach to sources ~ 19

Approach to presentation ~ 20

Note on limitations ~ 20

Structure, formatting and language ~ 22

Structure ~ 22

Formating ~ 23

Transcriptions ~ 23

Translations ~ 24

Abbreviations ~ 24

Orientations ~ 25

On reconstructing dances ~ 27

Understanding our purpose ~ 27

Understanding the written and notated source ~ 29

Understanding the pictorial sources ~ 31

Understanding the music ~ 34

Understanding persistent dance traditions ~ 35

Understanding wider historic and artistic influences ~ 35

 

PART B: 

The path to the ballroom ~ 36

Earliest Times ~ 38

Origins ~ 38

Egyptian dance ~ 39

Phoenician dance ~ 39

Minoan dance ~ 42

Mycenaean dance ~ 45

Classical Greek times ~ 48

Dance in Greek mythology and the development of Greek poetry ~ 48

Pythagorean concept of celestial harmony ~ 49

The dance according to Plato ~ 50

The dance according to Aristotle ~ 52

Ritual and ceremonial dance ~ 54

The dance of the maidens ~ 54

 The maenads ~ 56

The Pyrrhic ~ 58

Theatrical dance—the high-brow Emmeleia, and low-brow Kordax and Sikinnis ~ 60

Private dance ~ 63

Competitive dance ~ 66

Processional dance and song dance ~ 67

Partnered dance ~ 68

The Hormos / Geranos dance ~ 70

Etruscan times ~ 76

Roman times ~ 80

A mixed heritage ~ 80

Combat-related dance— echoes of the Pyrrhic ~ 81

Ribald dance—echoes of the Sicinnis ~ 84

The Pantomime ~ 85

The remembering of Homer’s Hormos ~ 87

Dancing at private parties ~ 88

Plutarch’s Ammonius on dance theory ~ 90

Lucian’s Lykinos on dance history~ 92

Plotinus on God and celestial dance ~ 95

Victorinus on Theseus imitating both the labyrinth and celestial dance ~ 98

Dance at the beginnings of Christianity ~ 99

The Dark Ages ~ 101

Dance under the early church ~ 101

The dance of northern Europe ~ 102

The dance of Carolingians ~ 104

Early Medieval times ~ 105

11th-12th centuries ~ 105

13th century ~ 106

Late Medieval times ~ 109

Changing words for dance ~ 109

The solo woman’s dance ~ 110

Women’s group dance ~ 111

Mixed group dancing ~ 112

Dance in Dante’s Divine comedy ~ 113

Dance in literary works such as those by Boccaccio and Chaucer ~ 115

Dance and Romance ~ 118

Dance in illustrations ~ 119

Dance as allegory ~ 124

Mummery ~ 125

Dance and music ~ 128


 


 





PART C: 

The persistence of forms ~ 131

Persistence of imperatives ~ 133

1&2—The man having the woman on the right and sense of leading her ~ 133

3&4—Fitting the space and accommodating the numbers ~ 133

5&6—Courteous behaviour within politic parameters ~ 134

7&8—Enjoyment of the other and of the new ~ 135

9&10—Partnering and the enjoyment of life ~ 136

Change and continuity ~ 138

Ways dance forms change ~ 138

Dances not tabulated in the sections that follow ~ 140

1) The follow-the-leader or circle dance ~ 141

From carol to branle to gavotte and farandole ~ 141

Sections relevant to follow-the-leader / circle dances ~ 143

2) The processional couple’s (& trio) dance ~ 145

From basse dance to pavan to Almain, late courante and Polonaise ~ 145

Sections relevant to the processional dance ~ 148

3) The facing couple’s dance ~ 150

From balli and cascarde to minuet to cut-in jig ~ 150

Sections relevant to the facing couple’s dance ~ 152

Galliard sequences in balli ~ 153

4) The playful dance ~ 158

From competition dances, early courante, relay mixer to cotillon dance games ~ 158

Sections relevant to the playful dances 159

The new cotillon ~ 161

Cotillon medley (1)—early 1820s ~ 162

Cotillon medley (2)—late 1820s-1840s ~ 163

Cotillon medley (3)—late 1840s ~ 164

Cotillon medley (4)—late 19th century ~ 165

5) The whole-set longways finishing dance ~ 167

The whole-set longways finishing dance ~ 167

Sections relevant to the whole-set longways finishing dance ~ 168

The whole-set longways finishing dance by ideas ~ 170

The whole-set longways finishing dance by Volume, entry and changes ~ 171

6) Progressive or fancy longways dance ~ 173

From country dance to contredanse Anglaise and Écossaise ~ 173

Sections relevant to the longways dance ~ 176

Corner stealing / La Triumph ~ 181

7) The square set dance ~ 182

Origins and early small squares ~ 182

From cotillon/contredanse française to potpourri, douze, quadrille and early cancan ~ 182

Sections relevant to the square set dance ~ 185

The Quadrille Français ~ 187

The Lancers ~ 188

Mazurka Quadrilles ~ 189

8) The turning dances 191

Origins ~ 191

The Allemande ~ 191

The waltz ~ 192

The mazurka ~ 192

The galop and polka ~ 193

The hybridising of couple’s dances ~ 194

Sections relevant to the turning couple’s dances ~ 195

Mazurka couples dance ~ 197

9) The hybrid sets ~ 199

Hybrids of longways dances with quadrilles and couples dances ~ 199

Sections relevant to post-1750 hybrid sets ~ 201

La Tempête / The Tempest ~ 202

The Waltz Country Dance and Spanish Waltz ~ 202

The Galopade Country Dance ~ 204

The persistence of ball format ~ 206

The persistence of dance order within balls ~ 206

Persistence of particular types of balls ~ 209

The most popular dances ~ 210

When might a dance be judged to have been popular ~ 210

Some early often-described country dances ~ 215

 

PART D: 

The persistence of ideas ~ 221

Persistence of literary topoi ~ 223

Persistence of propensities ~ 227

Appreciating the curve and counter curve ~ 227

Providing an opportunity for one sex to regard the other ~ 228

Taking figures from one formation or ‘genre’ or rhythm to another ~ 228

Having some figures overlapped or ‘canonised’ ~ 228

Transforming the shape of the set ~ 229

Reusing patterns for larger formats ~ 229

Reusing patterns in different formats ~ 230

Reusing patterns in different formats ~ 230

Taking dances from one milieu into another ~ 231

Expecting improvisation ~ 231

Making long sequences ~ 232

Reusing common step patterns ~ 232

Persistence of devices ~ 234

Promenading up and back, or in an oval ~ 234

Codifying then repeating figures ~ 234

Taking turn leading a figure ~ 235

Making suites that progress from simple to more flashy figures, steps or holds ~ 235

Randomly changing partners or cutting-in ~ 235

Slipping away from a set ~ 236

‘Snowballing’ a two-person dance sequence ~ 236

Visiting ~ 236

 Having a leader choose those to participate ~ 236

Following a graceful step-sparse group-oriented ‘low’ processional dance with an exuberant step-busy couples-oriented ‘high’ dance ~ 236

Taking a turn leading a dance ~ 237

Starting a multi-part couples dance side-by-side, with symmetrical figures move toward presence, separate, reunite and return to starting point ~ 237

Having the man go up toward the present, woman go down 237

Having the 1s start improper in a longways set ~ 238

Claps, stamps, jumps, kisses and gestures ~ 238

Persistence of figures ~ 240

Following the leader into and out of knots ~ 240

Having a follow-the-leader line bend back on itself ~ 240

‘Stripping’ a set or ‘bootlacing’ 240

Making a reverse ‘S’ ~ 240

Chasing the opposite sex ~ 241

Partner’s backing or chasing each other ~ 242

Chaining / weaving / ‘dip&diving’ down a longways set 242

Teasing the opposite gender ~ 242

Turning back on opposite gender then facing them again ~ 243

Stealing corners ~ 243

Taking another man’s partner and advancing 3-a-breast on the one left alone ~ 243

Miming a joust ~ 244

Weaving one line through another ~ 244

The cross-over hey and contra-corners ~ 245

Going from column or square to one horizontal or vertical line ~ 245

Competing men ending in exchanged places with woman in between ~ 246

Persistence of figure orders within dances ~ 247

Starting with introductions ~ 247

Promenading, then cross then set then cross back then set ~ 247

Promenading then gypsy then single hand turns and/or two hand turns ~ 248

Promenading then reverse S then left, right and two hand turn ~ 248

Set then turn single ~ 248

Set then turn by hand~ 249

Feigning then the full ~ 250

Finishing with weavings or heys ~ 250

Finishing with most promiscuous all-involving and quickest mixing ~ 251

Persistence of musical ideas ~ 252

The persistence of tunes ~ 252

The persistence of scores ~ 254

The persistence of arrangements ~ 256

 

PART E: 259

Storyline in dance 259

The appreciation of storylines in dance ~ 260

By dancing masters ~ 260

By non-dance writers ~ 261

By visual artists ~ 261

Ways in which a storyline is suggested ~ 263

By the combination of title and figures ~ 263

By figures and/or formation without the assistance of title ~ 265

By the order of figures within dance ~ 266

By the order of dances within suites or medleys ~ 268

By music ~ 269

The allusive storyline ~ 270

Storyline themes ~ 271

The factal nature of dance and the real business of a ball ~ 271

To find a wife ~ 272

To look after a wife ~ 272

To look after someone else’s wife ~ 273

Exceptions that tend to prove the rule ~ 273

Storyline through the century ~ 274

15th century ~ 274

16th century ~ 274

Late 17th and early 18th century ~ 274

Late 18th and early 19th century ~ 275

Mid and late 19th century ~ 275

The importance of understanding storyline ~ 276

Storyline and dance reconstruction ~ 276

Storyline and dance performance ~ 276

Storyline transformation and loss ~ 277

Beyond storyline ~ 277

PART F: 279

The ball beyond 1900 279

New developments and continuing heritages ~ 281

New developments ~ 281

Publications facilitating continuity ~ 282

Nostalgia and the persistence of some ball dances into the 20th century ~ 283

The continued interest in inventing dances in 19th century forms ~ 289

New dance genres facilitating continuity ~ 289

Le Bridge ~ 292

Figure 1 ~ 292

Figure 2 ~ 294

Figure 3 ~ 294

Figure 4 ~ 295

Figure 5 ~ 297

Lulu Fado ~ 307

 

PART G: 318

Consolidated contents 318

Volume I: 1400-1550 319

Volume II: 1550-1600 321

Volume III: 1600-1650 323

Volume IV: 1650-1700 325

Volume V: 1700-1750 327

Volume VI: 1750-1800 330

Volume VII: 1800-1825 333

Volume VIII: 1825-1850 336

Volume IX: 1850-1875 337

Volume X: 1875-1900 339

PART H: 342

Series bibliography 342

Primary sources ~ 343

Table showing certain primary sources in context ~ 343

Post-1900 secondary sources ~ 348

Electronic resources ~ 348

Anonymous writer, editor or translator ~ 348

Pseudonym used by author ~ 349

Personal name of author, editor or translator ~ 349


PART E: 

Storyline in dance ~ 259

The appreciation of storylines in dance ~ 260

By dancing masters ~ 260

By non-dance writers ~ 261

By visual artists ~ 261

Ways in which a storyline is suggested ~ 263

By the combination of title and figures ~ 263

By figures and/or formation without the assistance of title ~ 265

By the order of figures within dance ~ 266

By the order of dances within suites or medleys ~ 268

By music ~ 269

The allusive storyline ~ 270

Storyline themes ~ 271

The factal nature of dance and the real business of a ball ~ 271

To find a wife ~ 272

To look after a wife ~ 272

To look after someone else’s wife ~ 273

Exceptions that tend to prove the rule ~ 273

Storyline through the century ~ 274

15th century ~ 274

16th century ~ 274

Late 17th and early 18th century ~ 274

Late 18th and early 19th century ~ 275

Mid and late 19th century ~ 275

The importance of understanding storyline ~ 276

Storyline and dance reconstruction ~ 276

Storyline and dance performance ~ 276

Storyline transformation and loss ~ 277

Beyond storyline ~ 277


PART F: 

The ball beyond 1900 ~ 279

New developments and continuing heritages ~ 281

New developments ~ 281

Publications facilitating continuity ~ 282

Nostalgia and the persistence of some ball dances into the 20th century ~ 283

The continued interest in inventing dances in 19th century forms ~ 289

New dance genres facilitating continuity ~ 289

Le Bridge ~ 292

Figure 1 ~ 292

Figure 2 ~ 294

Figure 3 ~ 294

Figure 4 ~ 295

Figure 5 ~ 297

Lulu Fado ~ 307

 

PART G: 

Consolidated contents ~ 318

Volume I: 1400-1550 319

Volume II: 1550-1600 321

Volume III: 1600-1650 323

Volume IV: 1650-1700 325

Volume V: 1700-1750 327

Volume VI: 1750-1800 330

Volume VII: 1800-1825 333

Volume VIII: 1825-1850 336

Volume IX: 1850-1875 337

Volume X: 1875-1900 339


PART H: 

Series bibliography ~ 342

Primary sources ~ 343

Table showing certain primary sources in context ~ 343

Post-1900 secondary sources ~ 348

Electronic resources ~ 348

Anonymous writer, editor or translator ~ 348

Pseudonym used by author ~ 349

Personal name of author, editor or translator ~ 349

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