The Wicked Waltz and Other Scandalous Dances: Outrage at Couple Dancing in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries

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McFarland, Jun 8, 2009 - Performing Arts - 272 pages
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The waltz, perhaps the most beloved social dance of the 19th and early 20th centuries, once provoked outrage from religious leaders and other self-appointed arbiters of social morality. Decrying the corrupting influence of social dancing, they failed to suppress the popularity of the waltz or other dance crazes of the period, including the Charleston, the tango, and “animal dances” such as the Turkey Trot, Grizzly Bear, and Bunny Hug. This book investigates the development of these popular dances, considering in particular how their very existence as “taboo” cultural fads ultimately provided a catalyst for lasting social reform. In addition to examining the impact of the waltz and other scandalous dances on fashion, music, leisure, and social reform, the text describes the opposition to dance and the proliferation of literature on both sides.

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The wicked waltz and other scandalous dances: outrage at couple dancing in the 19th and early 20th centuries

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Antidance sentiment has existed side by side with social dance, but despite critics' complaints, as Knowles writes, "the dance goes on." In his meticulously researched study, choreographer Knowles ... Read full review

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This book is really informative and shed some light on ancient dance forms and how it is originated. The social dance or couple dance has a glorious history related to it, perhaps one of the most liked dance forms across the world.


1 Overview of AntiDance Sentiment
Part I The Waltz
Part II The Animal Dances
Part III The Tango
Part IV The Charleston
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About the author (2009)

Mark Knowles, choreographer of more than 300 theatrical productions, is on the faculty of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles, California.

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