1st Edition

Dance Lexicon in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries A Corpus Based Approach

By Fabio Ciambella Copyright 2022
    158 Pages
    by Routledge

    158 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book provides a thorough analysis of terpsichorean lexis in Renaissance drama. Besides considering not only the Shakespearean canon but also the Bard’s contemporaries (e.g., dramatists as John Marston and Ben Jonson among the most refined Renaissance dance aficionados), the originality of this volume is highlighted in both its methodology and structure.

    As far as methods of analysis are concerned, corpora such as the VEP Early Modern Drama collection and EEBO, and corpus analysis tools such as #LancsBox are used in order to offer the widest range of examples possible from early modern plays and provide co-textual references for each dance. Examples from Renaissance playwrights are fundamental for the analysis of connotative meanings of the dances listed and their performative, poetic and metaphoric role in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century drama.

    This study will be of great interest to Renaissance researchers, lexicographers and dance historians.



    Part I

    Dancing in early modern England: A historical overview

    1. Continental and autochthonous sources for early modern dances in England

    Dancing at the Inns of Court

    Diaries and annals

    John Playford’s The English Dancing Master (1651)

    1. Salome vs David: The early modern querelle on dance between Neoplatonists and Puritans
    2. Folk and courtly dances
    3. From Elizabeth to Charles, through James: Dance and politics
    4. Part II

      Dance and/as language: State of the art and methodological issues

    5. A language for dance: Dance as language
    6. Language about dance: Matters of textual and corpus linguistics
    7. Early modern English lexicography: Limiting the scope
    8. Corpus selection and investigation

    The VEP Early Modern Drama Collection

    The #Lancsbox software and lexical analysis

    Which words to look for

    Part III

    Analysis: The lexicon of dance in early modern English plays: An annotated glossary

    A – Almain/Allemand(e)

    B – Bergomask; Branle/Brawl

    C – Canary; Cinquepace/Sinkapace; Coranto/Courante; Country Dance; Cushion Dance

    D – Dance

    G – Galliard

    H – Hay; Horn(e/i)pipe

    J – Jig/Gig/Gigue

    L – (La)volta

    M – Maypole Dance; Measure; Moresca/Morisco; Morris Dance

    P – Passamezzo; Pavan

    R – Round(el)/Ring(let)




    Fabio Ciambella is a Research fellow at Università della Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy.