The international Historical Dance Symposium
Burg Rothenfels am Main

Italy and the Dance
Dance in Italy, Italian Dance in Europe, 1400–1900
25–29 May 2016

For Barbara Sparti (1932–2013)

With our next Symposium we would like to honour Barbara Sparti, one of the leading dance researchers of the 20th century, who died in 2013. In keeping with the central emphasis of her research activities, the highly diverse dance culture of Italy—from the final phase of the Middle Ages to the time of the Risorgimento—is to be the main theme of the Symposium.

One central thematic area is to be the dance styles and forms which evolved in different regional, cultural and institutional contexts in Italy, their historical and stylistic development, their dissemination in Europe, their influence on other national dance styles, and their role (as style, as form, as cultural practice) in transmitting Italian culture in Europe. We likewise wish to examine the influences which emanated from other dance cultures (e.g. France) and left corresponding traces in Italy.

In this context, light is also to be shed on the artists who had a decisive share in this: Italian dancers, dancing masters, choreographers and teachers who worked in European palaces and major cities, spread Italian dance art in Europe and, conversely, absorbed a diversity of influences.

A further focus of the Symposium will be on the Italian contribution to the development of theatrical dance in Europe. Here we wish to concentrate on the characteristics of the Italian style and its distinguishing features vis-à-vis other “national” styles, but not neglecting the relationships between theatrical dance and theatre, especially Italian opera and also the influence of the Commedia dell’arte (e.g. with reference to the use of acrobatics and pantomime) on theatrical dance.

  • What influence did the French Bassedanse have on Italian dance style?
  • How widespread were Italian dances in Germany around 1500?
  • How successful were Italian dancing masters in spreading their dance culture in Europe in the 16th century?
  • What effect did Italian dance style have on the French Ballets de cour?
  • What is considered as “typically Italian” in dance theory discourses?
  • What insights into Italian dance culture are provided by iconography?
  • What significance did dance have in Italian opera?
  • What role was played by Italian dancers and choreographers in European theatres?
  • To what extent were wandering troupes involved in dance culture transfer in Europe?
  • How strongly did “foreign” styles influence Italian dance culture in the 18th and 19th centuries?
  • What traces of the original were left in the Baroque Forlana or in the Monfrina of the European ballrooms?
  • What role was played by Italian folk dance in European theatrical art?
  • How did political movements such as the "Risorgimento" influence Italian dance culture?

In addition to furthering the scholarly discussion, it is a particular goal of the symposium to present to interested dancers and dance enthusiasts the state of dance research today. The symposium will offer a wide range of activities from lectures, workshops, demonstrations, a book and music exhibition to evening dancing and a festive ball with live music.

Contributions not yet presented on the topics listed above are welcome. A publication is planned and will be available at the symposium.

The full call for contributions is available via this link. The deadline for proposals is 1 June 2015. For further information, contact Markus Lehner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dance and Culture Call for Proposals

“Dance and Culture” Area of the annual joint conference of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association
The New Orleans Marriott
New Orleans, LA
April 1–4, 2015

Papers, Lec/Dems, Panels, Roundtables, Film Screenings, and other formats are welcome

Area Chairs: Jen Atkins and Celeste Fraser Delgado

The deadline for proposal submission has passed.

Poetry and Collaboration in the Age of Modernism

The deadline for proposal submission has passed.

Interdisciplinary conference on “Poetry and Collaboration in the Age of Modernism” to be held at Trinity College Dublin on 2–3 July 2015. This event will seek to foster scholarly attention on the collaborative nature of poetic production, mediation, and reception across Britain, Ireland, North America and beyond during the age of modernism. It will welcome contributions on any aspect of the conference theme from researchers in fields such as drama, music, dance, film, visual and material cultures, publishing and media history, as well as from literary scholars. Keynote speakers will be Alex Davis and Peter Howarth.

Further details are available at:

Expanding Notions; Dance/Practice/Research/Method

12th international NOFOD Conference
Reykjavík, Iceland
28–31 May 2015

The realm of dance practice and research manifests itself in multiple ways. Within dance studies as an interdisciplinary field, the notions of dance, practice and research are constantly challenged, leading to fundamental questions such as: what is practice and what is knowledge? This, in turn, may open up new methodological questions. Possibilities and connections are created between methods in practice and methods in research, in ways that lead us to revisit and revise the concept of method as such, and as a consequence question different approaches to knowledge. This conference will address the multiple understandings of methodologies in dance practice and research, in order to contest preconceived conceptions of methods and revise our understanding of doing and knowing.

The deadline for proposal submission has passed.

Oxford Annual Dance Symposium at New College, University of Oxford

An annual meeting for scholars and practitioners to discuss aspects of court and theatre dance, including music, performance practice, social and literary links during the long eighteenth century, organised by Michael Burden and Jennifer Thorp. For more details, lists of publications arising from the symposia, and calls for papers for the upcoming symposium, see the symposium website

The deadline for proposal submission has passed.

SDHS publications

Studies in Dance History SDHS’s monograph series, published by University of Wisconsin Press, answers a growing demand for works that provide fresh analytical perspectives on dancing, dancers, and dances in a global context. Read more...

[cover of 2014 Conversations] Issued yearly in early spring generally, Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies reflects the dynamic and diverse membership of SDHS. We seek to bring you themes and debates current in the field of dance studies and the profession, alongside news from the international community of scholars in dance and related disciplines. Read more...


Conference 2015, Cut & Paste: Dance Advocacy in the Age of Austerity, a joint SDHS and CORD conference, will be held June 4–7, 2015 in Athens, Greece.


SDHS Board of Directors election runs April 1–15. All current SDHS members may vote. Please see the candidates' biographies and links to ballots.

Dance Chronicle announces Founding Editors’ Awards, honoring Barbara Palfy in 2015. Sponsored by Dance Chronicle and Routledge/Taylor & Francis

Conversations call for contributions: Dancing the African Diaspora. Guest Editors: Takiyah Nur Amin and Thomas F. DeFrantz

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Updated 15 March: Conference announcements and calls for papers

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