The watchword for UK early dance is ‘AUTHENTICITY’. This is the Holy Grail of the true historical dancer. Here are ten things you should know if your historical dance style is to be authentic.
- You are never the guardian of authenticity – others will always fulfil that role.
- Reading (and trying to understand) the dance sources is no guarantee of authenticity – someone else always knows better.
- Doubts about the possibility of authenticity lead inexorably to exile from the UK early dance world.
- However authentic you think you are, there will always be someone to tell you that you aren’t.
- True authenticity starts (and ends) with the costume.
- The cry of the truly authentic dancer is ‘They would NEVER have danced like THAT!’.
- The sources can only be interpreted in one way (and certainly not your way), however obscure or contradictory they may be.
- Authenticity is guaranteed if you choose your sources carefully, i.e. the ones that agree with your ideas.
- Authenticity and Politeness are inseparable (and probably the same thing really).
- Virtuosity, or even simple competence in dancing, is the sworn enemy of authenticity.
Happy authentically historical dancing!