By Mark Knowles

The waltz, probably the main cherished social dance of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as soon as provoked outrage from spiritual leaders and different self-appointed arbiters of social morality. Decrying the corrupting impression of social dancing, they didn't suppress the recognition of the waltz or different dance crazes of the interval, together with the Charleston, the tango, and "animal dances" equivalent to the Turkey Trot, Grizzly undergo, and Bunny Hug. This e-book investigates the improvement of those renowned dances, contemplating specifically how their very life as "taboo" cultural fads finally supplied a catalyst for lasting social reform. as well as reading the effect of the waltz and different scandalous dances on type, song, rest, and social reform, the textual content describes the competition to bounce and the proliferation of literature on each side.

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Extra resources for The Wicked Waltz and Other Scandalous Dances: Outrage at Couple Dancing in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries

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20 Her love of dance and her use of French and Italian dancing masters to stage court entertainments resulted in the popularization and documentation of the volta. Introduced in Paris around 1556, the volta reached the pinnacle of its popularity during the reign of Henri IV (1589–1610). It remained in vogue for about one hundred years, fading out shortly after 1636. The dance was enjoyed by the aristocracy but was not often danced by the common folk. There is conjecture among dance historians that Henri IV’s prudish son, Louis XIII (1610–1613), who was heir to the French throne, considered the dance indelicate and therefore forbade its use at court, bringing about the volta’s eventual demise.

4 In the first decades of the nineteenth century, wigs were abandoned in favor of natural hair, carefully and meticulously modeled after Greek or Roman hairstyles. For both men and women, footwear became lighter with lower, less precarious heels. Most women’s shoes for the first two decades of the century were flat and made out of satin, silk, or soft, supple leather. A conscientious lady often took extra pairs of slippers with her to a ball because the first pair rarely survived much dancing. ”6 41 42 Part I.

There was no lack of willing dance partners at the luxurious Apollo Hall, well known as the best place to find the highest-paid prostitutes. Dances were also given at the imperial palace. At the Hof burg, when masquerade balls were given each year at Carnival time, special birthing chambers were set aside for woman who were pregnant but did not want to miss the chance to waltz. Irish singer Michael Kelly told of this obsession to waltz in his book Reminiscences published in 1826. He wrote, The people of Vienna were in my time dancing mad ...

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