MACINTOSH, Fiona, (ed.),
The Ancient Dancer in the Modern World. Responses to Greek and Roman Dance.
Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012. 532p. ills. Paperback. When the eighteenth-century choreographer Jean-Georges Noverre sought to develop what is now known as modern ballet, he turned to ancient pantomime as his source of inspiration; and when Isadora Duncan and her contemporaries looked for alternatives to the strictures of classical ballet, they looked to ancient Greek vases for models for what they termed 'natural' movement. This is the first book to examine systematically the long history of the impact of ideas about ancient Greek and Roman dance on modern theatrical and choreographic practices. (Publisher's information). 'This richly textured, multidisciplinary book is part of the systematic investigations of verbal and non-verbal art forms (music, movement, etc.), by the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama (University of Oxford), and was given momentum by recent publications on ancient pantomime. (…) The unique juxtaposition of eminent dance historians, classicists, and practitioners is distilled into five sections ('Dance and the Ancient Sources', 'Dance and Decadence', 'Dance and Myth', 'Ancient Dance and Modern Mind', and 'The Ancient Chorus in Contemporary Performance'). This has ensured that a wide range of scholarship illuminates both familiar and murkier histories, and also sustains a diachronic and synchronic mode of engagement throughout. (...) Classical reception is much indebted to this much anticipated collection of critical dance history in theatre.' (ZACHARY DUBAR in New Theatre Quarterly).