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Dance Figures Index: American Country Dances, 1730–1810
Compiled by Robert M. Keller
Sandy Hook, CT: The Hendrickson Group, 1989
120 pages *DFIA-bk: $10.00
A breakthrough in dance research. This is a guide to the figures of all known 18th-century American country dances. 2,738 dances from 82 sources are now available through the power of computer indexing. The unique dance coding opens a previously inaccessible literature to systematic analysis and computer-assisted statistical studies. The basic figures of each dance are coded by dance figures (e.g., OXR = "Circle, Hands across, Right & Left"), listed alphabetically by title, and sequentially by page in the source.The spread of local dances like "The Pleasures of Providence" or "The Porcupine Dance" and national favorites like "Fisher’s Hornpipe" or "Yankee Doodle" is quickly seen. The index of dance titles is a valuable resource for early American popular culture.