The Art of Dancing Explained by Reading and Figures: Whereby the Manner of Performing the Steps is Made Easy by a New and Familiar Method

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author, 1735 - Dance - 159 pages
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The title page indicates the book was completed in 1724. However, the cost of the thirty-five full-page plates precluded publication until 1735. In this treatise of two parts, Tomlinson (c. 1690-1753?) sets forth the principles of Baroque dance. Book one covers description of twenty nine steps; book two discusses the minuet, including four methods of performing the minuet step.
 

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Page 125 - ... He continues with some advice for the unmusical: However the latter is by much the safer Way for those whose Ear is not very good, the concluding of a Strain of the Tune being much more remarkable than the middle Part; for, if they should happen to begin out of Time, it is a thousand to one if they recover it throughout the Dance. But on the other Hand, had they waited a remarkable Place of the Tune, and taken the Time at Beginning, they might have come off with Reputation and Applause; for many...
Page 124 - Instead of standing to wait the Close or Ending of a Strain of the Tune, begin upon the first Time that offers, in that it is much more genteel and shews the Dancer's Capacity and Ear in distinguishing of the Time, and from thence begets himself a good Opinion from the Beholders, who are apt to judge favourably of the following Part of his Performance; whereas the attending the concluding or finishing of a Strain has the contrary Effect.
Page 39 - This Step in Dancing much resembles a Period or Full Stop in Letters; for, as that closes or shuts up a Sentence, the Close in Dancing does the very same in Music, since nothing is more frequent than, at the End of a Strain in the Tune, to find the Strain or Couplet of the Dance to conclude in this Step, as also at other remarkable Places of the Music.
Page 18 - First then, you are to observe, that the Shape and Figure of Rooms differ exceedingly; for some are of a direct Square, others not square but oblong or longish, namely, when the two Sides are somewhat longer than the Top or Bottom, and various others that, in Reality, are of no Form at all; which renders Dancing extremely difficult and confused to those, who have not a just and true Idea of the Room, in its different Situations; because, if this be wanting, altho...
Page 124 - ... good Opinion from the Beholders, who are apt to judge favourably of the following Part of his Performance; whereas the attending the concluding or finishing of a Strain has the contrary Effect. He continues with some advice for the unmusical: However the latter is by much the safer Way for those whose Ear is not very good, the concluding of a Strain of the Tune being much more remarkable than the middle Part; for, if they should happen to begin out of Time, it is a thousand to one if they recover...
Page 144 - Common Time," Tomlinson counts four in a measure: Common Time, for Instance, is of four Notes to the Bar or Measure. . .and the Rise or Beginning of the Step, in Dancing, from a Sink always marks Time to the Tune, as well as the fourth or last Note is in the Sink or Preparative for the Rise or beating Time to the succeeding Step. . . . (Tom. p. 144) 158 In the following chapter on the step-units, the author's tables will match the French "deux temps...
Page 4 - ... superiors: . . .for Conversation, or when we stand in Company. . . when the Weight rests as much on one Foot as the other, the Feet being considerably separated or open, the Knees straight, the Hands placed by the Side in a genteel Fall or natural Bend of the Wrists, and being in an agreeable Fashion or Shape about the Joint or Bend of the Hip, with the Head gracefully turning to the Right or Left [when conversing] , which compleats a most Heroic Posture. (Tom. p. 4) The lady's feet being hidden,...
Page 137 - Rule, as to its [the menuet's] . . .Relation to the Time of the Tune, since it may begin upon any that offers, as well within a Strain as upon the first Note or commencing thereof. It is the very same with Respect to its ending, for it matters not whether it breaks off upon the End of the first Strain of the Tune, the second, or in the Middle of either of them, provided it be in Time to the Music.
Page 3 - Tomlinson begin their books with instructions on how to stand graciously and impressively when in company: Before I proceed to treat on Motion, I apprehend it to be necessary to consider that Grace and Air so highly requisite in our Position, when we stand in Company; for, having formed a true Notion of this, there remains nothing farther to be observed, when we enter upon the Stage of Life, either in Walking or Dancing, than to preserve the same. (Tom. p. 3) 65 A fashion plate by Bonnart.
Page 154 - ... forward to the Presence (according to Tomlinson), they make their first motionrising and falling a little, while rotating inward until the palms face downward: (L109) . . .the Turn of the Wrists and Palms of the Hands downwards in a slow and even Motion inwards, or forwards. . . greatly resembling the Fall of a Feather or the Coming down of a Bird, their Fall is so smooth and easy; and it is a wonderful Grace to Dancing when well performed.

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