Continuity, change and performativity in leisure: English Folk Dance and modernity 1900-1939

Snape, Robert ORCID: 0000-0003-4229-0926 (2009) Continuity, change and performativity in leisure: English Folk Dance and modernity 1900-1939. Leisure studies, 28 (3). pp. 297-311. ISSN 0261-4367

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In post-industrial countries, folk dance may be considered as an embodied performance of a perceived tradition and is representational of values attached to an imagined past. The English Country Dance is one such form of folk dance, having been revived, or re-invented in the early twentieth century by Cecil Sharp who claimed it to be a national dance of England. However, Sharp re-defined it not as a popular and spontaneous leisure activity but as a serious middle-class art form representing an English sensibility and the virtues of a pre-industrial pastoral collectivism. After the hiatus of the First World War the English Country Dance continued to offer a resistance to the modern, this time in the form of a burgeoning popular dance culture which embraced urban sophistication and jazz dance.Using the concept of performativity this paper attempts to demonstrate that the leisure context of the English Country Dance, in terms of spatiality, style, consumption and gender, enabled a continuity of resistance to the modern in a changing socio-cultural environment. The paper draws upon on primary research in the archive of the Manchester Branch of the English Folk Dance Society and upon records of contemporary dance in the Mass Observation archive.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This relates to an electronic version of an article published in Leisure Studies, available online at informaworldTM at
Uncontrolled Keywords: jazz,gender,history,dance,identity,representation,mass observation
Divisions: University of Bolton Research Centres > Centre for Research for Health and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Scott Wilson
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2013 12:51
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2018 13:45
Identification Number: 10.1080/02614360903046235

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