Dance, Spectacle, and the Body Politick, 1250–1750

Dance, Spectacle, and the Body Politick, 1250–1750

Jennifer Nevile
Distribution: World
Publication date: 06/25/2008
Format: Paperback 18 b&w illus., 15 music exx.
ISBN: 978-0-253-21985-5
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From the mid-13th to the mid-18th century the ability to dance was an important social skill for both men and women. Dance performances were an integral part of court ceremonies and festivals and, in the 17th and 18th centuries, of commercial theatrical productions. Whether at court or in the public theater danced spectacles were multimedia events that required close collaboration among artists, musicians, designers, engineers, and architects as well as choreographers. In order to fully understand these practices, it is necessary to move beyond a consideration of dance alone, and to examine it in its social context. This original collection brings together the work of 12 scholars from the disciplines of dance and music history. Their work presents a picture of dance in society from the late medieval period to the middle of the 18th century and demonstrates how dance practices during this period participated in the intellectual, artistic, and political cultures of their day.

Author Bio

Jennifer Nevile is an Honorary Research Fellow in Music and Music Education at the University of New South Wales. Her research on fifteenth- and sixteenth-century dance practices and their relationship with other contemporary artistic practices, as well as choreographic analysis of individual works and genres, has been published in twenty articles and book chapters. She is also the author of The Eloquent Body: Dance and Humanist Culture in Fifteenth-Century Italy (Indiana University Press, 2004).


“The combination of so many well-researched articles on dance, ranging from the Medieval era to the Georgian period, makes this collection invaluable to anyone interested in dance history.”
 — Mary Jane Warner, York University

“Makes a serious and much needed contribution to cultural history, filling a gap that to my knowledge is not approached in any other volume. It should be of interest to everyone in the field of cultural history. It provides as complete an overview of dance history as one could hope for that period.”
 — Timothy J. McGee, Trent University

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Table of Contents

Part 1. Introduction and Overview
1. Dance in Europe 1250<N>1750

Part 2. Dance at Court and in the City
2. Dance in Late Thirteenth-Century Paris
3. Dance and Society in Quattrocento Italy
4. Dance in Sixteenth- and Early Seventeenth-Century France

Part 3. Dance and the Public Theater
5. Pierre Beauchamps and the Public Theater
6. Dance in the London Theaters c. 1700<N>1750

Part 4. Choreographic Structure and Music
7. The Relationship between Dance and Music in Fifteenth-Century Italian Dance Practice
8. The Basse Dance c. 1445<N>c. 1545
9. Choreographic Structure in Baroque Dance

Part 5. Dance and the State
10. Your Most Humble Subject, Cesare Negri Milanese
11. The Politics of Ballet at the Court of Louis XIV
12. Mr. Isaac's The Pastorall and Issues of "Party"

Part 6. Dance, Society, and the Cosmos
13. Plato's Philosophy of Dance
14. Moral Views on Dance
15. Order, Proportion, and Geometric Forms: The Cosmic Structure of Dance, Grand Gardens, and Architecture during the Renaissance

List of Dance Treatises, Manuscripts, Modern Editions, and Translations
List of Contributors