Dance critiques essay

This article raises several of the social and cultural concerns that permeated discussions of the waltz and influenced its use in the literature of the period; specifically, it presents the waltz as a threat to national morals, class, and gender. The performance of the waltz at a court function signaled its integration into society and subsequently prompted this author to write back against the widespread adoption of the dance. Although the Times also reported (15 July 1816) that the royal family themselves did not join in any of the dancing, which consisted entirely of waltzes and cotillions, the performance of the waltz in their presence was nonetheless enough to raise concerns. The article speaks to fears about French morality (and, by extension, revolutionary tendencies) infiltrating the court as it argues that “national morals depend upon national habits.” The threat to the modesty of English women is likewise perceived as a problem, and as the century progressed, authors both in England and on the continent would frequently use the waltz as shorthand for immoral behavior. Finally, the article’s attitude toward class, like Byron’s poem, protests the democratization of the waltz. It is the responsibility of the court, the article suggests, to set an example for the rest of society. If that example is wanting, then nothing less than the complete collapse of social order is sure to follow.

Dance critiques essay

dance critiques essay

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