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From the Ballroom to Hell: Grace and Folly in Nineteenth-Century Danceby Elizabeth Aldrich
Synopses & Reviews
During the 1800s, dance and etiquette manuals provided ordinary men and women with the keys to becoming gentlemen and ladies--and thus advancing in society. Why dance? To the insecure and status-oriented upper middle class, the ballroom embodied the perfect setting in which to demonstrate one's fitness for membership in genteel society.
From the Ballroom to Hell collects over 100 little-known excerpts from dance, etiquette, beauty, and fashion manuals from the nineteenth century. Included are instructions for performing various dances, as well as musical scores, costume patterns, and the proper way to hold one's posture, fork, gloves, and fan. While of particular interest to dancers, dance historians, and choreographers, anyone fascinated by the ways and mores of the period will find From the Ballroom to Hell an endearing and informative glimpse of America's past.
Book News Annotation:
In this entertaining glimpse into the manners and mores of a bygone era, Aldrich collects some 100 little-known excerpts from dance, etiquette, beauty, and fashion manuals from roughly 1800-1890. Included are step-by-step instructions for performing the various quadrilles, minuets, and waltzes, as well as musical scores, costume patterns, and the proper way to hold one's posture, fork, gloves, and fan. An excellent introduction provides the context. With b&w illustrations.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
'From The Ballroom To Hell' collects over one hundred little-known excerpts from dance, etiquette, beauty, and fashion manuals from roughly 1800-1890. It will be of great interest to dancers and dance historians, choreographers, and dramatists interested in accurately reproducing nineteenth-century dance scenes and the surrounding social mechanisms.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 193-197) and index.
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