Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I saw Pride and Prejudice last night. The 2005 version. There were a number dancing scenes that I really enjoyed watching. So much that I went on to read about English Country dancing. There are many interesting things written on it, and the articles all talk about the dance not as a form of physical performance but a social interaction, a way of practicing and expressing elegance, knowledge, and feelings. It made me reflect on our society today. Compared to earlier times there is much less dancing, dancing for the most part has evolved into something of a personal nature, most do not do it well. Our increasingly individualistic societies would make us believe that we, as individuals, are most valuable and capable beings, and yet most of us suck at performing individually. We individually are encouraged to sit in our personal homes, watch our personal TVs, eat our single serving TV dinners, to individually choose to wear the same jeans as a reflection of our personal choice and taste. Are we that dumb to not notice that we, individually, choose to behave exactly the same way. The result? A bunch of "individuals" who watch the same shows, eat the same foods, wear the same things, blissfully ignorant of their banal existence, and yet so painfully aware of their loneliness.
Creating something as a society is a lost concept. When it happens it is rare and received with surprise and sometimes it is even looked down upon. How did we end up here? What does that say about our society? And it is not only in the USA that this is happening. Everywhere social dances which were at the center of social interaction have been reduced to something to learn for performance or role playing.
My romantic side gave in as I was reading all this stuff, and for a split second I found my self wishing to live back in those days. Then my rationality kicked in and I revised my wish, my impossible wish of being transported in time to attend one of the country dances in those days.
So at the end of the rant, I am going to share with you a bunch of links which are very interesting and describe the culture behind English country dances. I cannot promise it will improve your day, but most likely will make you day dream...
A very interesting article: The Felicities of Rapid Motion: Jane Austen in the Ballroom, by Allison Thompson
General illustrations of women's clothing styles of Jane Austen's period
But seriously, sometimes I think that I am totally born in the wrong era. Current state of the world does nothing for my romantic, naive, and idealistic tendencies, and mostly leaving me to feel disillusioned. Tango is the only thing that saves me. Thankfully...
Posted by Danzarin at 12:25 PM