I See America Dancing: Selected Readings, 1685-2000

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9780252026935: I See America Dancing: Selected Readings, 1685-2000
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Collects articles and essays from dancers and enthusiasts about dancing as an art form, and includes commentary on styles such as Native American pow-wow, Congo Square, and ballet.

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"Needham has assembled an array of essays and librettos as colorful and diverse as the history of dance in America. Dance as religious ritual, theatrical presentation, and social function are among the topics addressed in this rich sourcebook for dance and social historians... Extensive notes and a wealth of appended material round out the work. Dance scholars will revel in these primary sources." -- Library Journal "Needham provides the community of serious dance scholars with a marvelously diverse view of dance. The readings range from Increase Mather's 'An Arrow against Profane and Promiscuous Dancing Drawn Out of the Quiver of the Scriptures' (1685) to Bill Jones's 'Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin/The Promised Land' (1990)... Fascinating both for the inherent interest of each of the selections and for the succinct, thorough, thoughtful introduction Needham has provided for each of the five parts... This gem of a book should be in all performing arts collections." -- Choice "Backed up by listings of suggested books and films, this is a lively and enlightening American dance history primer... The indelible section on Native American dance includes an 1890 account of the Ghost Dance... Elsewhere Needham and her expert contributors discuss country dancing, ballet, 'anti-dance moralists,' theatrical dance, swing, high school dances, and even the twist." -- Booklist "Qualifies as both a comprehensive, analytical treatment and an exuberant fan's labor of love... Readers needn't be either great dancers or ardent fans to appreciate the quality and scope of I See America Dancing. It is an important addition to the ranks of both cultural history and arts appreciation/assessment works, and should be closely ready by everyone who cares about music, dance and their importance on the American landscape." -- Nashville City Paper ADVANCE COMMENTS "Maureen Needham has judiciously selected a collection of original writings that testify to the richness, breadth, and scope of U.S. dance heritage. This book is a must for understanding the artistic and cultural ebbs and flows of U.S. dance history." -- Emma Lewis Thomas, professor emerita of dance history and former associate dean of the School of the Arts and Architecture, University of California, Los Angeles "This is a valuable collection of writings, some of which the young dance historian might not think to consult." -- Selma Jeanne Cohen, founding editor of the International Encyclopedia of Dance

From Library Journal:

Needham (dance history, Vanderbilt Univ.) has assembled an array of essays and librettos as colorful and diverse as the history of dance in America. Dance as religious ritual, theatrical presentation, and social function are among the topics addressed in this rich sourcebook for dance and social historians. The book opens with six chapters on Native American dances and continues with considerations of other dance traditions in America, from early English country dances to the quadrilles of 19th-century New Orleans and today's country line-dancing and the revival of swing. A number of primary sources are featured here, from turn-of-the-last-century Indian Bureau Regulations and Increase Mather's 17th-century tract against dancing to excerpts from Thomas A. Faulkner's From the Ball-room to Hell (circa 1894). Contemporary reviews of some of the pioneers of theatrical dance in America include Emerson's reaction to a Boston appearance of the inimitable Fanny Elssler. In the last and largest of the book's five sections a number of American dance visionaries are represented in excerpts from their writings or librettos of their works. Here you will find essays by Isadora Duncan, Ted Shawn, and Doris Humphrey and librettos by Katherine Dunham, Bill T. Jones, and Sonje Mayo. The grande dame of modern American dance, Martha Graham, is represented by both an essay and a libretto. Extensive notes and a wealth of appended material round out the work. Dance scholars will revel in these primary sources and find this work a worthy companion to Selma Jeanne Cohen's more Eurocentric Dance As a Theatre Art: Source Readings in Dance History from 1581 to the Present. This carefully crafted production will be best featured in research collections in the performing arts as well as the social sciences. Carolyn M. Mulac, Chicago P.L.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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9780252069994: I See America Dancing: Selected Readings, 1685-2000

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Publisher: University of Illinois Press, 2002
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