Early Dance Working Group
Chair: Jane Peck
Contact: (T) 612-823-0776, (E) revels@janepeck.com

Here are links to:

  • Notes from the Early Dance Working Group meeting at the UCR SDHS/CORD conference, November 2013.
  • Notes from the Early Dance Working Group meeting at the Trondheim SDHS/NOFOD conference, June 2013.
  • Notes from the Early Dance Working Group meeting at the Philadelphia SDHS conference, June 2012.
  • A letter from Barbara Sparti in which she reflects on the contributions of Julia Sutton and other music researchers to SDHS and the study of early dance.

The Early Dance Working Group (EDWG) is a caucus of scholars, teachers, and performers who share a common interest in European dance forms and movement practices dating roughly from the early 1400s through the 1800s. In addition to their contributions as scholars and educators, many members are specialists in dance reconstruction, performance, and staging of early dance material.

To increase the visibility of early dance, members of the EDWG have been working on various scholarly projects. Among them are efforts to improve outreach to other disciplines; participation in early music festivals through performing, giving workshops, and serving as guest speakers; and creating opportunities to introduce early dance into humanities curricula. One key goal is to promote a broader base of recognition for the work of scholars and scholar-practitioners in the field of early dance. Toward that end, a directory of specialists available for professional engagements has been developed. See the attached Directory of Specialists in Early Dance.

Members of the EDWG named on this list are available to provide professional expertise to theater, opera, and music organizations that are mounting theater works calling for early dance reconstructions or original creations based on historical dance styles. Some members are also available to give presentations, lecture-demonstrations, or workshops on medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, or nineteenth-century ballroom and theater dance. Other members direct professional dance companies that perform Renaissance and Baroque dance or other period ballroom dance styles. These companies can be contracted for touring engagements. See the entries in the attached directory for names of directors of companies, and see the entries for early dance companies in the listings of online resources.

Anyone with interests in any of the several cultural periods embraced by the term "early dance" is invited to join the EDWG. The working group meets annually during the SDHS conference and remains in touch throughout the year via e-mail and postal mailings. Inquiries about membership or about activities of members should be made by sending an e-mail message to the chair of the group (revels@janepeck.com).

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 2015 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...

  • 2018 DSA Inaugural Conference
    Contra: Dance & Conflict
    July 5-8, 2018
    The University of Malta, Valetta, Malta
    Click here for the Call for Proposals

SDHS announces this year’s award recipients. Awards will be presented at the SDHS/CORD conference.

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

Updated 28 April 2017: Upcoming events

Updated 28 April 2017: Conference announcements and calls for papers

Updated 28 April 2017: Job postings and opportunities for students

SDHS endorses MLA statement on learning another language

Connect to Amazon.com through this link and a percentage of your purchase will help fund graduate student travel to SDHS conferences.