Country Dances from Colonial New York
James Alexander's Notebook, 1730
by Kate Van Winkle Keller and George A. Fogg
24 dances interpreted for historical performance with modern recreational alternatives; music with chords and illustrations of original pages from Alexander's manuscript plus illustrations of related dances from various editions of The Dancing Master, Neal's A Choice Collection (1726), and other contemporary sources. Includes biographical essay and notes on each dance; bibliography, references, glossary of figures, and short discussion of appropriate steps and movement for the period. 64 pages, 4-color cover, off-white paper, 8 ½ x 11 inches.
Seldom does the social dance historian find documentation for choreography, costume and venue in such detail as can be found in documents in the Alexander collection at the New-York Historical Society. Although textile scholars have long treasured the bright satins and braids on the sample cards that Mary Alexander used to import her shop stock in the mid-1730s in New York City, no one had noticed the country dances that her husband wrote down in 1730. These dances predate all known American social dance choreographies by nearly fifty years.
Country Dances from Colonial New York: James Alexander's Notebook, 1730 presents the genealogical, historical, cultural and dance background for these important documents. Each dance is then reconstructed in authentic style for historical presentation with suggested modifications for modern use. Portraits of the Alexanders, a painting depicting New York in 1731, and several cards of fabric samples are reproduced in color. Facsimiles of Alexander's dances and of pages from the contemporary books and manuscripts that were used as models in the reconstruction process are also included. Other illustrations include portraits of personalities mentioned, period dancers, ballad sheets, and song lyrics.
Table of Contents
|Wooden Shoes, or Bartholomew Fair
||Some Say the Devil's Dead
|Mother Quoth Hodge
|Prince Eugene's March
|Virgin of 15 Years
|Jenny, Come Tye
||De'il Take the Wars
|Grounds Green Sleeves
|Christ's Church Bells
With source listing and bibliography
Published by Country Dance Society-Boston Centre, Inc.