Politics of dance paper at Toronto library

A copy of a doctorial dissertation by Canadian scholar Emily Frances Winerock has been placed in the University of Toronto Research Repository. An abstract of the paper, Reformation and Revelry: The Practices and Politics of Dancing in Early Modern England, c.1550-c.1640, is available online.

From the abstract:

This study examines the cultural and religious politics of dancing in late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century England. Although theologically dance was considered morally neutral, as a physical, embodied practice, context determined whether each occurrence was deemed acceptable or immoral. Yet, judging and interpreting these contexts, and thus delineating the boundaries between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour, was contested and controversial. Advocates argued that dance enabled controlled, graceful movement and provided a harmless outlet for youthful energy. Opponents decried it as a vain, idle, and lascivious indulgence that led to illicit sexual liaisons, profanation of the sabbath, and eternal damnation.

Thank you for sharing this!

This is facsinating! I've only read the introduction so far, but I'm really enjoying it. I'll have to try and remember the quote from Philip Stubbes' Anatomie of Abuses, "Dancing either involves or leads to illicit sexual encounters and general troublemaking." And let my dance class know that we're a bunch of illicit troublemakers!