a history of dancing

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: Chapter III. ANCIENT FORMS OF DANCING IN GREECE, ITALY AND THE EAST. " Memory wakes her magic trance And wings me lightly through the dance" Moorb. — " Odes Of Anacreon." the dancing systems of ancient Greece and Italy were far more elaborate and carefully organized than those of any of the contemporary nations, and at one time reached a pinnacle of perfection which has been barely equalled by even the best endeavours of modern times, yet in Egypt, which might well be called the mother-country of all civilised dancing, we must look for those first traces of the art which, carried over into Greece and Italy, became there polished up and brightened till it shone forth as one of the most refined and cultured pursuits of the day. The act of dancing has been divided under three headings : Exuberant feeling, Pantomimic, and Social, though the Social division might more aptly be expressed as a result of exuberant feeling, or as a deliberate cultivation of it. And to these divisions a fourth may be added, namely: Dancing as an Art itself; that is to say the performance ] of one person (for if more are dancing, it . developed into the pantomimic division) for ' the gratification of on-lookers, and to show.) a complete mastery over the art. And it was in Egypt that this fourth division first sprang up, when the dancing g'rl—a girl being chosen as more graceful and agile than a man—gave what was perhaps the first " pas seul " of the world. It seems wonderful when we come to think of it, that Egypt, the Egypt as we know it now, the land of the silent Sphinx and the stupendous Pyramids, the land of those monuments and temples at whose greatness and vast size even the men of our modern times pause to regard with marvelling and awe, should have been at one time the centre of ...
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