Dance: A Very Social History

Posted By: TimMa
Dance: A Very Social History

Dance: A Very Social History
Metropolitan Museum of Art/Rizzoli | 1986 | ISBN: 0870994867/084780819X | English | PDF | 127 pages | 25.42 Mb

"The Ball nights in Bath are moments snatched from Paradise, rendered bewitching by music, beauty, elegance, fashion, etiquette…."

Thus did Charles Dickens in Pickwick Papers describe the magic of a grand ball. Even the names of such dances as the minuet, the quadrille, and the waltz are enough to evoke the image of a resplendently dressed assemblage performing with grace and style. The anticipation that precedes such a great social occasion and the afterglow of recollection are intensified not just by the dance and the music but also by the costumes that are so integral a part of the experience. Dance offers a feast for the eye as well as the ear, for it is in response to the grand ball that costume artists have produced some of their most inspired designs. The collections of the Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art are especially rich in clothing made expressly for dancing, from the formal gowns of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the mini-dresses of the twentieth.
Philippe de Montebello

Diana Vreeland

Yoshio Ohno

Chapter 1: Dreams of Flight
Carol McD. Wallace

Dancing Lessons
Stages of the Ball

Chapter 2: The Evolution of Social Dancing
Don McDonagh

Chapter 3: The Fabric of Dance: Whalebone and Swirling Silk
Jean L. Druesedow

Chapter 4: The Iconography of Dance
Laurence Libin and Constance Old

Picture Credits

Carol Wallace | Constance Old | Don McDonagh | Jean R. Druesedow | Laurence Libin

Dance: A Very Social History