[SCA-Dance] New dance books

Garden, John (DPS) John.Garden at aph.gov.au
Mon Aug 19 22:00:28 EDT 2013

All the emails lately about  new dance sources and the dance you've enjoyed at Pennsic, reminds me that I forgot last month to advise everyone about the release of the new edition of my Historic Dance book series. You can read all about them at http://www.earthlydelights.com.au/books-cds and find out more and order through the links at http://www.earthlydelights.com.au/books-cds/shop. There are 10 chronologically framed volumes (starting from the year 1450) each of between 660 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 (over 700 across all volumes!). In Part 5: Dancing Masters, I discuss developments in dance teaching, notation and publication, and offer an annotated bibliography of relevant primary sources. Every volume includes hundreds of reproductions, (music and text) transcriptions, translations (from Italian, French, Spanish etc) and illustrations (I'm a big collector of antique dance materials). There's no comparably comprehensive available (which is why I found myself writing these volumes over the last 10 years). 

Of particular interest to SCAers will be Volume I: 1450-1550, Volume II: 1550-1600, Volume III: 1600-1650 and Volume IV: 1650-1700 (for the early links)-and in all of them I deal not only with the more familiar sources, but also less familiar ones-including Gresley, Nürnberg, Il Papa, Instructions pour dancer, Chigi, Pattricke/Lovelace, Lansdowne and Sloane manuscripts. In these 4 volumes alone there would be in depth analysis and detail reconstructions of about 350 dances-and not a period relevant text not explored and sampled.

The books are designed not only as ideal practical aids for dancer callers/teachers and musicians, but also as resources which enthusiasts might consult in response to the many dance-related questions that come up all the time on lists like this-and given the interconnections between dance across the 450 years between 1450 and 1900 (interconnections traced in these volumes) and given that the Australian dollar has recently plunged 15% against major currencies, you might want to consider the whole 10 volume set (for which we've devised a discount).

For anyone interested in dancing some of my reconstructions from less known sources  I am over in England (with instruments, dance books and friends) on a small tour this coming September, and recommend in particular the  workshop I'm offering in London on Wednesday 4th September 7-10 pm, OldFinsbury Town Hall, Rosebery Ave., Lon., EC1R4RP and the one I'm offering on Wednesday 11th September 2:30-5:30 pm, at Barrington Court, Ilminster, Somerset TA19 ONQ. For my full tour itinerary see http://www.earthlydelights.com.au/dance-events/upcoming . 


John Gardiner-Garden

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