The University of Wisconsin Press

Dance / Women's Studies / European Studies

Women’s Work
Making Dance in Europe before 1800
Edited by Lynn Matluck Brooks

Studies in Dance History
Published under the auspices of the Society of Dance History Scholars

“A fascinating collection that illuminates women’s early work in dance with fresh information and keen insights.”
—Sandra Noll Hammond, professor emerita and director of dance, University of Hawaii

Like the history of women, dance has been difficult to capture as a historical subject. Yet in bringing together these two areas of study, the nine internationally renowned scholars in this volume shed new and surprising light on women’s roles as performers of dance, choreographers, shapers of aesthetic trends, and patrons of dance in Italy, France, England, and Germany before 1800.

Through dance, women asserted power in spheres largely dominated by men: the court, the theater, and the church. As women’s dance worlds intersected with men’s, their lives and visions were supported or opposed, creating a complex politics of creative, spiritual, and political expression. From a women’s religious order in the thirteenth-century Low Countries that used dance as a spiritual rite of passage to the salon culture of eighteenth-century France where dance become an integral part of women’s cultural influence, the writers in this volume explore the meaning of these women’s stories, performances, and dancing bodies, demonstrating that dance is truly a field across which women have moved with finesse and power for many centuries past.

Women’s Work is a welcome addition to the sparse body of scholarly work that concentrates on dance practices and the accomplishments of women before 1800. But this intriguing volume is also replete with thought-provoking discussions that resonate far beyond its early dance time frame, probing issues that are well worthy of discussion within the larger framework of dance history.”
—Elizabeth Aldrich

Lynn Matluck Brooks is a woman who looks like she has a  background in Dance. She has long hair and is wearing red.Lynn Matluck Brooks is the Arthur and Katherine Shadek Professor of Humanities and Dance and chair of the Department of Theater, Dance, and Film at Franklin and Marshall College. She has written several books, including The Art of Dancing in Seventeenth-Century Spain.

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the cover of Women's Work is sepia green and brown, with an engraving of a French, I presume, courtly dance in the forest. (dans la foret)

January 2008

LC: 2007011730 GV
256 pp.    6 x 9
11 b/w illus., 14 tables, 1 map

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Paper $27.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-22534-6
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Régine Astier
Lynn Matluck Brooks
Anne Daye
Angene Feves
Moira Goff
Nathalie Lecomte
Sarah McCleave
Joellen Meglin
Karen Silen
Barbara Sparti

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