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City FolkEnglish Country Dance and the Politics of the Folk in Modern America$
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Daniel J. Walkowitz

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814794692

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814794692.001.0001

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Revival Stories

Revival Stories

(p.15) 1 Revival Stories
City Folk

Daniel J. Walkowitz

NYU Press

This chapter introduces some of the major threads that weave together to provide the complex fabric that is the history of English Country Dance (ECD) in the twentieth century. After a review of the material conditions in the industrial city at the end of the nineteenth century, in which calls for revival echoed, the chapter moves between themes that interweave at different stages in the history, and often to different effect. The discussion moves from discourses on the body to histories of reform to the folk revival, but one theme is never far from another. Concerns voiced by Progressive reformers over dangers from and to gendered bodies cross with interests in social control and cultural amelioration. And the romantic views of peasants and the folk mix with Anglo-Saxon and white imperial ambitions to revitalize the “race.”

Keywords:   Cecil Sharp, English Country Dance, twentieth century, nineteenth century, folk revival, reform histories, body discourse

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