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Home > Early Dance Texts > Of Orchestice, or the Art of Dancing

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'Of Orche∫tice, or the Art of Dancing.'

-- My transcription of the NYPL Mid-Manhattan Research Library's copy of chapter 44, 'Of Orchestice, or the Art of Dancing' in Sir George Buck's The Third Universitie of England, an appendix to the 1615 edition of John Stow's The Annales, Or Generall Chronicle of England finished and edited by Edmond Howes. London: Thomas Adams, 1615. The 1631 edition as viewed at the British Library also contains The Third Universitie of England, but the text of 'Orchestice' is the same. I also transcribed a few other dance-relevant Third Universitie and Annales passages as well.

-- As concessions to Dreamweaver and web compatibility, double spaces between sentences have been reduced to single spaces, certain irregularities of spacing and punctuation for margin justification have been regularised, and the ∫/s is modernised except in titles. The ' ------ ' denotes page breaks. Obviously this does not replicate the look or type face of the original... but I've done my best! --E. F. Winerock

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986

Of Orche∫tice, or the Art of
Dancing.

Cap, 44.

 

T
He art of Dancing called by the
auncient Grecians, Orchestice, &
Orchestis (although Tully in his
austeritie, and out of his spleene

towards M. Anthony, seeing him dance, said,
(Nemo saltat sobrius) is notwithstanding an
art and qualitie, not iustly obnoxious to that
his bitter imputation: but contrarywise com-
mendable, and fit for a Gentleman, being op-
portunely and modestly used. And Plato
that most graue Philosopher thinketh meete
that ingenuous children be taught to Dance:
And it is not onely allowed and graced in the
Courts of Princes, and in the best and most
honorable Citties, and euen in the colledges
of the reuerend and graue Professors of our
Lawes, but also hath so good approbation in
the holy Scriptures, as we find that Micholl
was much blamed for laughing at King Da-
vid when he danced. Of this art many bookes
haue been written, as that Pamflet in the
Macaronicall tongue, intituled Liber bragar-
dissimus de danzis
, and diuers other the like.
And much more aunciently it hath bin han-
dled by Athenæs and Iulius Pollux, & since
by Cælius Rodigynus, and lastly and largely
enough by Thomas Garzoni in his Piazza Vni-
uersale in discorso
45. de Ballarini. Under this
art, Valting and tumbling, and going uppon
ropes, and the doing Feats of actiuitie, & rare
agilittie are comprehended: and in these arts of

dancing and valting we haue countrymen of
our owne, which be very excellent, as M. Car-
dell, groome of the Queenes priuie chamber,
and M. Warren, and M. Roland, the Kinges
Musitians, and M. Iohn Hasset, and diuers
others.
  I set not downe the armes of the professors
of dancing, because I haue not seene them:
besides I am enformed that they are of ye So-
ciety of the musitians, which I easily beleeue,
for dancing cannot stand without Musicke,
and then are they furnished, hauing an equall
and common interest, as well in the ensignes
as in the Societie and corporation.

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