Dancing shoes (Part 1 Primeval to Polka)


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A brief historical review of dancing shoes

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Dancing shoes (Part 1 Primeval to Polka)

  1. 1. Dancing shoes - Park One (Primeval to Polka) Cameron Kippen toeslayer2000@yahoo.com.au
  2. 2. In the beginning Early man seems to have enjoyed dancing, first by himself, then with other men and eventually, and sensibly, with women. The earliest dances were probably celebratory, to enhance fertility, to honour a victory, or rejoice in a bountiful harvest. Dance is an important part of civilisation and brought with it its own language
  3. 3. Dance predates written culture and was thought to function as a key way to communicate identity and custom and in this way preserve the tribe‟s continuity. In many primal cultures music and dance formed part magical or religious rituals as well as celebratory events. The “dancing sorcerer (circa 10,000 BCE)
  4. 4. Dancing was manifest in ancient temple worship, in Greece, in the Middle East and in India. Dance also formed part of wedding ceremonies and contained reference to appropriate nuptial behaviour.
  5. 5. The Belly Dancers (Awalim) were dancing girls who would combine their womanly charms with prostitution. During festivals to worship Isis and Osiris, and Apis followers openly danced to musical complement.
  6. 6. Dance became very popular among the Greeks and they considered it a healthy pastime akin to aerobics. Aristotle (384 BCE – 322 BCE) ranked dancing with poetry and said that certain dancers, with rhythm applied to gesture, could express manners, passions, and actions. Veiled dancer from Myrina circa 150–100 BCE
  7. 7. In the early centuries of the Roman Empire dancing was frowned upon because it was considered an erotic and licentious inducement. The developed a dance form which emphasised less aesthetic, spectacle and mime. Gestures were crude as social dance declined and religious dance continued. Ovid later recommended dancing to all girls who were in love and dancing has remained a major part of courtship ever since. Ovid (43 BC – AD 17/18)
  8. 8. This became a feature of European life in the late twelfth century. Distinctly the pastime of nobility it featured only on special occasions. The "carole" or "carola" was a popular Court dance
  9. 9. The first detailed descriptions of dancing date from 1450 in Italy. It become a popular pastime with the masses which required no audience, commemorative occasion or training. Dancers went hand-in-hand and a leader sang the ballad.
  10. 10. Between the 13th to 16th century large populations of Europe were afflicted with frenzied dancing. People gathered together and danced until they dropped with exhaustion or sometimes death.Choreomania was initially thought to be caused by spider bites
  11. 11. The parade was led by a figure representing death and became established after the Black Death (1373). It is thought the dance of death reflected rituals performed by primitive peoples, who had also danced to acknowledge the passing of the seasons of the year and of a human life on Earth.
  12. 12. Battle dances including the sword dances were performed throughout Europe. Village people performed fertility dances including Morris Dancing. On certain saints' days women also danced in churches.
  13. 13. Apart from ceremonial shoes which were found in tribal dancing from North America to Australia there appears to be no special shoe requirement for European dancing until after the 11th Century in Europe where more and more social dancing became the prerogative of aristocracy.
  14. 14. By the sixteenth century court dancing was well established and the tune Green Sleeves was popular. Green Sleeves is considered by many to be the oldest dance tune to have survived into modern times. „My Lady Greensleeves‟ by Dante Gabriel Rossetti(1864)
  15. 15. During the 16th century ballrooms became popular and being dressed for a ball all the more so. The best finery was the order of the day and more and more the noblemen and women wore special ballroom slippers. These became known as the “dancing shoes” or “pumps.”
  16. 16. Napoleon's legacy to cultured Europe was the fashionable dress balls that were he held in his honour. As soon as Paris succumbed to dancing for pleasure then popularity for such occasions swept through the civilised world.
  17. 17. A superb opportunity to display the peacock arrogance of the male and men wore military style boots. Women by contrast wore slippers every bit as delicate as modern ballet shoes. Empire Shoes were low heel pumps, sometimes worn with ribbons wrapped around the ankle
  18. 18. After the political upheavals of the 18th and 19th centuries, dances once performed by the aristocracy alone, became popular among ordinary people. By the mid-19th century, popular dances attracted many participants who performed minuets, quadrilles, polkas, and waltzes all of European origin.
  19. 19. The waltz gave new freedoms to couples with its gliding, whirling movements. Partners held themselves temptingly close. The turning action to fast music tempo was thought to cause intoxication Johann Strauss I (1804 – 1849)
  20. 20. The old people downright denounced it and young people, danced it non stop.
  21. 21. Byron claimed: „Lewd grasp and lawless contact between dancers in public would not leave much to mystery to the nuptial night .‟ To its critics the Waltz was "will corrupting", "disgusting" and "immodest.” Despite moribund protestations the Waltz became the fad dance in 1855. Lord Byron (1788 –1824)
  22. 22. The Great War People stopped dancing because it was mistakenly thought to be a German dance.
  23. 23. Not to be outdone by the fashionable Europeans, American, John Philip Sousa introduced the world to the military two step. Set to a march like tempo the dance involved marching and skipping. Less intimate, more novel and The Polka celebrated the new fashion of militaria. John Philip Sousa (1854 –1932)
  24. 24. Scott Joplin (1867 - 1917) For the amusement of the rich in the southern states of North America black folks were encouraged to lampoon formal dancing styles. Set to energetic rhythms of ragged music dancers demonstrated both agility and athleticism as they competed for attention. Prizes of cakes were offered to those dancers who displayed the greatest creativeness. Ragged music became Ragtime and was the forerunner of Jazz.
  25. 25. WARNING This material has been copied and communicated to you by or on behalf of Cameron Kippen pursuant to Part VB of the Copyright Act 1968 (the Act). The material in this communication may be subject to copyright under the Act. Any further copying or communication of this material by you may be the subject of copyright protection under the Act. Do not remove this notice Copyright Regulations 1969