Dancing through the Ages 33-book set

Dancing through the Ages is work consisting of 33 books.  Each book consists of between 220 and 440 (average 330+) double-sided A4 pages. The 10,000 plus 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.

Book 1 ‘Orientation and Overview’ includes full acknowledgments, a consolidated contents, a 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. Books 32 and 33 are ring-bound ‘Companions’ which offer easy music-stand access to essential extracts. Between the ‘Overview’ and ‘Companion’ books the series is divided into 10 Volumes. Each Volume consists of 3 books (that total on average of 1,000 pages) devoted to a particular period and each is divided into 2 parts

Each Volume’s Part 1 (one book) is devoted to dance in general (with period sources in transcription and translations but generally not facsimiles) and is itself divided into Part 1a: Dance context on the social, political and geographic context in which dance was evolving in the relevant period; Part 1b: Dance forms on the nature and evolution of the period’s main categories or types of dance; Part 1c: Dance elements with source-based considerations of style, etiquette, honours, holds, formations, figures and steps; and Part 1d: Dance teaching on the dancing master vocation, developments in notation and publication, teaching methods, calling, and an annotated bibliography of dance-relevant material written in the period.

Each Volume’s Part 2 (two books) is devoted to dances in detail, alphabetically-ordered reconstructions of dances that seem to have had their first recording in the period which is the subject of the Volume. Each dance entry includes a summary box (abbreviated dance figure and step directions), a few words of orientation (starting formation, mechanism and musical structure), music (chorded melody line, with other scores under facsimiles), a reconstruction table (with relevant texts transcribed, translated, tabulated, arranged to match musical phrase, and annotated to improve understanding and offer possible dance calls), notes offering background, identifying problems and suggesting solutions, and facsimiles of as many relevant primary sources as possible. 

To order any number of books in this 33 book series go to Lulu.com

To order the whole set at a considerable discount email us.

N.B. I recommend that in addition to books pertaining to the period you first think of, you also order books from the adjacent period collections and Book 1: 'Orientation and Overview' (286 pages). 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!

Book 1 =

Orientation and Overview

Series introduction, consolidated contents, secondary bibliography, dance in ancient and medieval times, dance types, forms, figures, devices and orders that persist through 500 years, dance post-1900.

Book 2, 3 & 4 =

Volume I: 1450-1550

Dance and dances in the 15th and early 16th century, the early renaissance.

Book 5, 6 & 7 =

Volume II: 1550-1600

Dance and dances in  the late 16th century, the high renaissance, Elizabethan period.

Book 8, 9 & 10 =

Volume III: 1600-1650 

Dance and dances in the early 17th century, the late renaissance, early baroque

cavalier period.

Book 11, 12 & 13 =

Volume IV: 1650-1700

Dance and dance in the late 17th century,

the baroque,


Louis XIV

Versailles period.

Book 14, 15 & 16 =

Volume V: 1700-1750

Dance and dance in the early 18th century, the late baroque,

early rococo


Book 17, 18 & 19 =

Volume VI: 1750-1800 

Dance and dance in the the late 18th century,


late rococo period,

Age of Enlightenment period. 

Book 20, 21 & 22 =

Volume VII: 1800-1825 

Dance and dance in thethe first quarter of the 19th century,

the Napoleonic,

Jane Austen,

Regency period. 


Book 23, 24 & 25 =

Volume VIII: 1825-1850 

Dance and dance in the2nd quarter of the 19th century,

the early-Victorian, Biedermeier period.    

Book 26, 27 & 28 =

Volume IX: 1850-1875 

Dance and dance in thethe 3rd quarter of the 19th century,

the mid-Victorian, Second Empire, period. 


Book 29, 30& 31 =

Volume X: 1875-1900 

Dance and dance in the last quarter of the 19th century,

the late-Victorian,

Belle Époche


Book 32 = spiral bound

Companion 1: 


Extracts of music and dance summaries from the Part 2s of Volumes I to V.

Book 33 = spiral bound

Companion 2: 


Extracts of music and dance summaries from the Part 2s of Volumes VI to X.