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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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(p.206) 7 Re-Generation
City Folk

Daniel J. Walkowitz

NYU Press

This chapter chronicles the world of country dance as it underwent changes during the 1970s. The controversial 1974 visit to Pinewoods Camp of the pioneering dance choreographer and teacher from London—Pat Shaw—was the transformative symbolic moment. Shaw's view of the folk reflected struggles within folklore generally, and while it empowered some, it threatened others, most especially those committed to preserving what they imagined to be Sharp's legacy: the Playford tradition. Shaw had set in motion the development of a new “modern” genre of dances in the spirit of historical English Country Dance, leaving it to choreographers to interpret how that historical “spirit” or “tradition” would be represented in the newly written “folk” dances. The result was the emergence by the century's end of a new subset of ECD: Modern English Country Dance.

Keywords:   Pat Shaw, 1970s, Sharp's legacy, Playford tradition, Modern English Country Dance, MECD, modern dance

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