Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 01 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Many of Shakespeare’s plays contain verbal references to specific dances. Knowledge of early modern dance conventions can be of tremendous value in reading (and staging) these plays: “decoding” the dance references unveils layers of subtext that are relevant to an understanding of thematic issues and of the psychological makeup of characters, and it suggests visual ways in which scenes can be staged. This chapter examines dance references in Much Ado about Nothing and Twelfth Night, focusing on the following dances: measure, cinquepace, galliard, coranto, and passy-measures pavan. Each dance is introduced through a brief review of extant choreographic sources, after which the references are examined in the context of the scene and dramatic situation in which they occur. Finally, approaches to staging the scene are considered, with the aim of making the dance references meaningful to audiences today.

Keywords: Shakespeare, dance, interpretation, staging, measure, cinquepace, galliard, coranto, passy-measures pavan

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.