Resources to Research Dancing

Compiled by Nena Couch


An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals, 1490-1920. Washington, D.C.: Music Division, Library of Congress. New Bern, N.C.: Paige Whitley-Bauguess.

Keller, Robert. The Dancing Master, 1651-1728: An Illustrated Compendium. Northampton, Mass.: The Country Dance and Song Society, Inc., 2000.


How to Dance Through Time: The Elegance of Baroque Social Dance (v. IV). DVD. Dallas, TX: Dancetime Publications (, 1990-2000.

Le Gratie d’Amore. Video. Prod. by Filmocentro, Taller de Danzas Antiguas, Charles Garth and Elizabeth Aldrich. Perf. by Taller de Danzas Antiguas and The Court Dance Company of New York. NY: Historical Dance Foundation, 1992.

Turocy, Catherine. Baroque Dance Unmasked: Workshop to Performance. DVD. Dallas, TX: Dancetime Publications (, 2011. Also available online through Alexander Street’s Dance in Video.

Whitley-Bauguess, Paige. Dance of the French Baroque Theatre. DVD. New Bern, N.C.: Down East Dance, 2005.

Whitley-Bauguess, Paige. Introduction to Baroque Dance. 2 vols. DVD. New Bern, N.C.: Down East Dance, 1999.

Books and articles:

Arbeau, Thoinot. Orchesography. Trans. by Mary Stewart Evans, rev. and ed. by Julia Sutton. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1967.
Austin, Gilbert. Chironomia; or, A Treatise on Rhetorical Delivery: Comprehending Many Precepts, Both Ancient and Modern, for the Proper Regulation of the Voice, the Countenance, and Gesture. London: T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1806. Reprinted in partial facsimile, edited by Mary Margaret Robb and Lester Thonssen. Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press, 1966.

Barnett, Gene. The Art of Gesture: The Practices and Principles of Eighteenth-Century Acting. With the assistance of Jeanette Massy-Westrop. Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitatsverlag, 1987.

Brooks, Lynn Matluck. The Art of Dancing in Seventeenth-Century Spain: Juan de Esquivel Navarro and His World: Including a Translation of the Discursos sobre el arte del danzado by Juan de Esquivel Navarro (Seville, 1642), and Commentary on the Text. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2003.

Caroso, Fabritio. Il Ballarino. Venice, 1581. Facsimile, New York: Broude Brothers, 1967.

-----. Nobiltà di Dame. Venice, 1600. Facsimile, Bologna: Forni Editore, 1970. English trans. by Julia Sutton, Oxford: New York: Oxford University Press, 1986; rev., corrected and expanded republication as Courtly Dance of the Renaissance: A New Translation and Edition of the Nobiltà di Dame (1600). New York: Dover Publications, 1995.

Esquivel Navarro, Juan de. Discursos sobre el arte del dançado. Seville: Juan Gómez de Blas, 1642. See also Brooks.

Esses, Maurice. Dance and Instrumental Diferencias in Spain during the 17th and Early 18th Centuries. 3 vols. Stuyvesant, New York: Pendragon Press, 1992.

Fairfax, Edmund. The Styles of Eighteenth-Century Ballet. Lanham, Maryland, and Oxford: Scarecrow Press Inc., 2003

Ferriol y Boxeraus, Bartholomé. Reglas útiles para los aficionados a danzar. Málaga: Joseph Testore, 1745.

Feuillet, Raoul-Auger. Chorégraphie, ou l’art de décrire la dance. Paris, 1700. Facsimile reprint published with Recueil de dances, composées par M. Feuillet and Recueil de dances, composées par M. Pecour. New York: Broude Brothers, 1968. Chorégraphie trans. By John Weaver as Orchesography or the Art of Dancing. London, 1706. Facsimile, Westmead, England: Gregg International, 1971; and in The Life and Works of John Weaver (see Weaver below).

Harris-Warrick, Rebecca and Carol G. Marsha. Musical Theatre at the Court of Louis XIV: “Le Mariage de la Grosse Cathos”. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Hilton, Wendy. Dance of Court and Theater: Selected Writings of Wendy Hilton. Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1997.

International Encyclopedia of Dance. 6 vols. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Keller, Kate Van Winkle and Genevieve Shimer. The Playford Ball: 103 Early English Country Dances, 1651-1820 as Interpreted by Cecil Sharp and His Followers. Northampton, Mass.: The Country Dance and Song Society, 1994.

L’Abbe, Anthony. A New Collection of Dances. Intro. by Carol G. Marsh. London: Stainer & Bell, 1991.

Lambranzi, Gregorio. Neue und curieuse theatralische Tantz-Schul Deliciae theatrales. Nurnberg: Johann Jacob Wohrab, 1716. English trans. By F. Derra de Moroda as New and Curious School of Theatrical Dancing. London: Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, 1928. Reprint, New York: Dance Horizons, 1966.

Little, Meredith. “Courtly, Social, and Theatrical Dance.” In The Worlds of Johann Sebastian Bach, ed. Raymond Erickson. New York: Amadeus Press, 2009.

Little, Meredith, and Natalie Jenne. Dance and the Music of J. S. Bach. Expanded ed. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2001.

Little, Meredith Ellis, and Carol G. Marsh. La Danse Noble: An Inventory of Dances and Sources. Williamstown, Mass.: Broude Brothers, Limited, 1992.

Mather, Betty Bang. Dance Rhythms of the French Baroque: A Handbook for Performance. With the assistance of Dean M. Karns. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987.

Minguet é Irol, Pablo. Arte de danzar a la francesa. Published in various combinations with Quadernillo curioso: De veinte Contradanzas; Breve Explicación de diferentes danzas y contradanzas, and Breve Tratado de los Passos del danzar a la española, que oy se estilan en las seguidillas, fandango, y otros tañidos. Madrid: Pablo Minguet é Irol, 1737 to 1764.

Negri, Cesare. Le Gratie d’Amore. Milan, 1602. Facsimile, New York: Broude Brothers, 1969; Bologna: Forni, 1969.

New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Edited by Stanley Sadie; executive editor, John Tyrrell. New York : Grove, 2001.

Pemberton, E. An Essay for the Further Improvement of Dancing…. London: J. Walsh, J. Hare, author, 1711. Facsimile, Westmead, England: Gregg International Publishers, 1970; New York: Dance Horizons, 1970.

Rameau, Pierre. Abbrégé de la nouvelle Méthode dans l’Art d’écrire ou de Tracer toutes sortes de Danses de Ville….
Paris, 1725. Facsimile, Westmead, England: Gregg International, 1972.

Rameau, Pierre. Le Maitre a Danser. Paris: auteur, 1725. Facsimile, New York: Broude Bros., 1967. Eng. Trans. as The Dancing Master by Cyril W. Beaumont. London: Beaumont, 1931. Facsimile, New York: Dance Horizons, 1970.

Russell, Tilden. The Compleat Dancing Master: A Translation of Gottfried Taubert’s Rechtschaffener Tantzmeister (1717). 2 vol. New York: Peter Lang, 2012.

Schwartz, Judith L. and Christena L. Schlundt. French Court Dance and Dance Music: A Guide to Primary Source Writings, 1643-1789. Dance and Music, 1. Stuyvesant, N.Y.: Pendragon Press, 1987.

Tomlinson, Kellom. The Art of Dancing. London: author, 1735.

Weaver, John. The Life and Works of John Weaver: An Account of his Life, Writings and Theatrical Productions, with an Annotated [facsimile] Reprint of His Complete Publications. Annotations, intro. by Richard Ralph. N.Y.: Dance Horizons, 1985.

Also see articles in the journals Dance Chronicle, Early Music, and in Congress on Research in Dance and Society of Dance History Scholars publications