By Daniel J. Walkowitz
This is the tale of English state Dance, from its 18th century roots within the English towns and nation-state, to its transatlantic jump to the U.S. within the twentieth century, instructed by way of not just a well known historian but in addition a people dancer, who has either immersed himself within the wealthy background of the people culture and rehearsed its steps.
In City Folk, Daniel J. Walkowitz argues that the heritage of nation and folks dancing in the USA is deeply intermeshed with that of political liberalism and the ‘old left.’ He situates people dancing inside of strangely varied contexts, from innovative period reform, and playground and faculty activities, to the adjustments in shopper tradition, and the undertaking of a modernizing, cosmopolitan center type society.
Tracing the unfold of people dancing, with specific emphases on English kingdom Dance, foreign people Dance, and Contra, Walkowitz connects the heritage of folks dance to social and overseas political impacts in the United States. via archival learn, oral histories, and ethnography of dance groups, City Folk permits dancers and dancing our bodies to talk. From the norms of the 1st half the century, marked strongly by means of Anglo-Saxon traditions, to the chilly warfare nationalism of the post-war period, and at last directly to the counterculture events of the Nineteen Seventies, City Folk injects the riveting historical past of people dance in the course of the tale of recent America.
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Extra info for City Folk: English Country Dance and the Politics of the Folk in Modern America
Aesthetic” dance, they averred, emphasized grace, often combining Delsarte fluidity with the allures of the scantily clad burlesque queen, representing classical figures such as Salome. But as important as their bodily movement, these artistes, as historian Linda Tomko points out, established a new sanctioned public role for women. 36 Gymnastics, sports, and the military for men and Delsarte exercises and modern dance for women gave elites a range of bodily exercises, but they did not address the social question of the age: how were working-class immigrant bodies to be disciplined?
In 1888, Child was elected the first president of the American Folklore Society. That same year, the society’s journal began to publish the work of the new breed of folklorists; some of the first songs collected by Lila W. 45 In the following decade, although the settlement movement remained an urban phenomenon, rural settlements began to be established in the mountains, and word of “mountain ballads” began to spread. Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, was established in 1855, and the Log Cabin Settlement in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1895.
38 Less iconic but no less significant work parallel to Herder’s collecting folk songs took place in England and Scotland at almost the same time. Thirteen years earlier, in 1765, Thomas Percy (1768–1808), an English clergyman, published a collection of broadsides, Reliques of English Poetry, which fueled the imagination of many Romantic poets. Joseph Ritson’s (1752–1803) A Selected Collection of English Songs followed soon after in 1783. And in 1802, the Scotsman Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832) published his ballad collection, Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border.