By Janet Adshead-Lansdale
Initially released in 1983 the 1st version swiftly validated itself as a middle scholar textual content. Now absolutely revised and up-dated it is still the one publication to handle the explanation, method, concepts and methodologies particular to the examine of dance historical past. For the most physique of the textual content which covers old stories of dance in its conventional and function contexts, the editors have introduced jointly a workforce of the world over recognized dance historians. Roger Copeland and Deborah Jowitt each one take a debatable examine the trendy American dance. Kenneth Archer and Millicent Hodson clarify the techniques they use whilst reconstructing 'lost' ballets, and Theresa Buckland and Georgina Gore write on conventional dance in England and West Africa respectively. With different contributions on social dance, ballet, early eu sleek dance and feminist views on dance background this publication bargains a large number of beginning issues for learning dance heritage in addition to featuring examples of dance writing at its absolute best. Dance background can be an important buy for all scholars of dance.
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Additional info for Dance history: an introduction
The literature in dance anthropology on the dance of non-western cultures is extensive, although mainly in journal form, but this demonstrates rather different methodologies and addresses different questions. It is worthy of separate debate. The texts described in Appendix A are presented in tables and divided into a number of categories. The time-span and geographical range of each text is noted so that its coverage is clear. The overall scope of the work and its major aims, purposes and concerns is identified.
14 It is important, too, in arriving at judgements about the value of a biography to include a consideration of its author in terms of interest in, links with and knowledge of the subject matter. While translations, autobiographies and biographies are just three examples of source materials where prior evaluation promotes effective use, there are four further guidelines which can aid this process. These are to do with testimony, authenticity, reliability and value. In general history Marwick (1989) makes a distinction between ‘witting’ and ‘unwitting’ testimony which is also relevant to the evaluation of dance history source materials.
9 Here again, though, there are pitfalls to be avoided and the interviewer needs to be aware that a potentially interventionist role may prejudice the gaining of unique insights. 10 As the potential value of oral tradition and oral testimony in dance history is recognized it is likely that, along with video, the current generating of such material for dance archives and collections will gain momentum. If this proves to be the case then dance historians will need to acquire the techniques to use such material with a far greater degree of sophistication than hitherto in order to realize the potential of such unique primary sources.
Dance history: an introduction by Janet Adshead-Lansdale