Folk Dancing by Erica Nielson (2011) ISBN: 978-0-313-37688-7 is part of the ABC-CLIO’s American Dance Floor Series. The book coveres the history of social dancing in North America, with emphasis on the 20th century folk dance movement. Between 2008 and 2011, author Nielson traveled to dance events across the United States and interviewed over 100 people for this one-of-a-kind, must-have book.
The Bible in Israeli Folk Dance by Matti Goldschmidt (Viersen 2001 (Germany) ISBN: 3-933512-12-3. Examines every Israeli folk dance at hand and choses those whose lyrics can be traced back to the Bible. Containes researched development of the dances and describes their origins. Deals with preconceived notions of supposedly “biblical” dances, and sets the record straight. Wherever possible, Goldschmidt has included detailed descriptions of the dances and pictures for illustration.
Black Dance from 1619 to Today by Lynne Fauley Emery (Princeton: Princeton Book Co., 1988); $19.95. A complete and fascinating history with many notes and quotes, and a foreword by Katherine Dunham. Lynne Emery is a social scientist and historian who has a great knowledge of dance. It is available at commercial bookstores.
Cultures and Styling in Folk Dance by Sanna Longden and Phyllis Weikart (Ypsilanti, Mich.: High/Scope Press, 1998) $37.95. Written for schoolteachers, and a companion to Phyllis Weikart’s other books, it is useful for anyone who teaches folk dance. The book gives up-to-date background for 27 cultures, discusses dance styling, traditional music, and lots more. In addition, it contains photos from performing ensembles, festivals, folk dance groups, and overseas travel. 400 pages. Contact Sanna for information.
Dancing Through Time: Western Social Dance in Literature, 1400-1918, Allison Thompson, compiler. A survey of social dance, and the ballroom as a setting for social interaction, in the lives of English and U.S. middle and upper classes. 88 literary excerpts, full index, hardcover, 259 pages, $41.50. CDSS, P.O. Box 338, Haydenville, MA 01039; 413/268-7426; email@example.com.
Folk Dance Problem Solver by Dr. Ron Houston. Dance descriptions (there are *20* in this series) and other information. This series of books and the newsletter, “Report to Members,” is available when you join Ron’s Society of Folk Dance Historians, 2100 Rio Grande, Austin, TX 78705. Or write to Dr. Houston and ask for back issues.
Dance A While by Cathy L. Dark, Jane A. Harris, Anne M. Pittmann, Marlys S. Waller. (9th Edition) If you want to teach your class something about partner, folk, social, contra, and ballroom dance, it is here. This book covers everything from A to Z. It even gives you a glossary just in case you did not know some of those square dance calls. And, its many indexes and other additions at the back of the book are fabulous to help you plan and find all kind of relevant material.
Glad i att dansa! (version 4.2) by Bill Gooch, international dance leader and Scandiphile of Knoxville. A collection of 167 descriptions of traditional dances from 17 Swedish provinces, including detailed maps with dance locations. $25 plus postage to 4401 Alta Vista Way, Knoxville, TN 37919; 865/522-0515; Goochbill@bellsouth.net
Notes on Teaching Country Dance by Bruce Hamilton. Although written with the Country Dance teacher in mind, it has valuable tips and tricks for all dance teachers. Available through the Country Dance and Song Society, www.cdss.org
Index to Viltis 1944-1994 compiled by Shari and Bert Osen; edited by DeWayne Young. An index to Viltis Magazine to assist you in locating articles about folk dance, folklore, and recipes. The index is valuable for dancers, teachers, library collections, researchers, and students of international folk dance. Sadly, DeWayne Young died in 2014 and we are unable to find anyone who is managing the supply of these books. If you know of a source, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Vytautas (Vyts) F. Beliajus, Mr. Folk Dance, USA, Memoirs of a Lithuanian Immigrant 1908-1994 Edited and published by L. DeWayne Young. Limited to 100 copies, privately published. Available only in university dance libraries and folk dance institutes where VILTIS folklore magazine is housed. Published in 2008 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vytautas F. Beliajus, February 26,1908, and the 64th anniversary of his VIL TIS magazine, September 1944 in Fairhope, Alabama. For further information, contact L. DeWayne Young (email@example.com or 208-785-2427).
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. This beautiful novel has nothing to do with ethnic dance, except that geishas had to be superb dancers. However, the historical facts of a geisha’s day-to-day life in the 1930s and ’40s are carefully researched by the author (his first book) who has degrees in Japanese art history and Japanese history. Insights into this complex culture are amazing, the story is spellbinding.
Music and Song in Persia: The Art of Avaz by Dr. Lloyd C. Miller, (Publisher: Curzon Press London & University of Utah Press USA – 1999), is the first full-length analysis of the theory and practice of Persian singing, demonstrating the centrality of Persian elements in the Music of the Islamic Middle Ages, their relevance to both contemporary and traditional Iranian music and their interaction with classical Persian poetry and metrics. This book also chronicles the efforts to document and preserve traditional Iranian folk and classical music during the 1970s. Available at http://www.Amazon.com and http://www.Amazon.co.uk
Musical Instruments of the World, an Illustrated Encyclopedia by the Diagram Group (New York: Facts on File Inc., 1976); $19.95. This great resource has more than 4000 drawings of a global range of traditional, historic, and contemporary instruments from all cultures, divided into the instrument types of aerophones, idiophones, membranophones, chordophones, and mechanical and electrical instruments, and more. Available commercially and from music education catalogs.
Polish Folk Dances and Songs: A Step by Step Guide by Ada Dziewanowska (New York: Hippocrene Books); $39.50 plus $3.00 shipping.
The 800-page book includes in-depth descriptions of more than 80 dances, including the national dances (Polonez, Mazur, Kujawiak, Oberek, and Krakowiak). Each description contains step-by-step dance instructions accompanied by historical and cultural background. The book also includes more than 400 illustrations of dance movements, over 90 music transcriptions with lyrics in Polish and English plus translation and pronunciation, and a number of maps. For more information, or to get your author’s autographed copy, contact Ada Dziewanowska, 3352 N. Hackett Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53211; 414/964-8444.
Polish Folk Embroidery by Jadwiga Turska (New York: Hippocrene Books, Inc., 1998); $75. Includes more than 200 color illustrations from 31 regions; 336 pages. Hippocrene Books, 171 Madison Ave., New York 10016; phone, 212/685-4371; fax, 212/779-9338.
The Sprit of Hula
In a book that every student and fan of hula will treasure, halau from Hawai’i, the U.S. mainland, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, and Mexico share photos and stories that celebrate the spirit of hula worldwide. Included in the book are 70 stories, over 300 photographs, commentaries on hula, Hawaiian healing, and lei making by noted kumu hula from Hawai’i and Japan.
Romanian Traditional Dance: A Contextual and Structural Approach by Anca Giurchescu with Sunni Bloland (Mill Valley, Calif: Wild Flower Press, 1995); $40 plus $5/shipping and handling. This is the book Sunni and her colleague, Anca, have been working on for two decades and is a comprehensive document on everything you ever wanted to know about Romanian folk dance. It is worth owning for the photos alone. You can order it from Sunni Bloland, 1734 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94703.
The World of Greek Dance by Alkis Raftis (Finedawn Publishers, 1997), contains tradition and folklore in Greek dance, history, dance events, and a comprehensive directory of festivals, groups, museums, and resources. Contact Dora Stratou Theatre, 8 Scholiou Street, 105 58 Athens, Greece.
World Music: The Rough Guide (London: The Rough Guides, Ltd., 1994); $19.95 USA, $25.99 Canada. A complete handbook of music of the world’s peoples focusing on popular music, both contemporary and traditional. Much information about musicians and recordings as well as cultural backgrounds and instruments. It is available in commercial bookstores.
A World Treasure of Folk Wisdom by Reynold Feldman and Cynthia A. Voelke (Harper San Fransisco, 1992); $16. This little reference book is filled with gems of wisdom from many cultures such as “Don’t jump high in a low-ceilinged room” (Czech) or “When the music changes, so does the dance” (Hausa). Other wise sayings are scattered around this newsletter. It is available in commercial bookstores.
The People Have Never Stopped Dancing by Jacqueline Shea Muphy (University of Minnesota Press 2007). During the past thirty years, Native American dance has emerged as a visible force on concert stages throughout North America. In this first major study of contemporary Native American dance, Jacqueline Shea Murphy shows how these performances are at once diverse and connected by common influences.
Many of the earliest books on dance, particularly those dating back to the 1900’s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. Read Books Design and Hard Press Editions are two houses that are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork. Look for the titles below and dozens more on-line at barnesandnoble.com.
- FOLK DANCES AND GAMES
- SINGING GAMES AND FOLK DANCES
- FOLK DANCES FROM OLD HOMELANDS (three volumes)
- FOLK DANCES FROM MANY LANDS (Folklore History Series)
- THE DANCING TOWER PROCESSIONS OF ITALY (Folklore History Series)
- SOME OXFORDSHIRE SEASONAL FESTIVALS – WITH NOTES ON MORRIS DANCING IN OXFORDSHIRE (Folklore History Series)
- FOLK DANCES FROM MANY LANDS – FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD SERIES
- SOCIAL PLAYS GAMES, MARCHES, OLD FOLK DANCES AND RHYTHMIC MOVEMENTS FOR USE IN INDIAN SCHOOLS
Fictional Characters Who FOLK DANCE? Alexandra Schiller, herself a long-time folk dancer, has written a series of books centered around a folk-dancing private-eye. Each book contains references to folk-dancing.
- The Case of the Suave Swami
- The Case of the Imaginary Imam
- The Case of the Lambent Lama
- The Case of the Minstrel Minister
- The Case of the Rambling Rabbi