This introductory chapter casts new perspectives on folk dance and its relationships to liberalism and modernity, in particular pointing to two conjunctions of the urban and popular: the folk as an imagined subject from the rural past that contemporary and largely urban-suburban dancers revive; and the folk as the urban culture of the revival dancers themselves. Moreover, people in the modern era who choose to do English Country Dance have been a social and political breed apart. Folk dancers located themselves outside the mainstream of popular culture, but they did so in explicit relationship to aspects of that culture they found problematic.
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