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This sketch of the iconography of the dance does not pretend to be a history of the subject, except in the most elementary way. It may be taken as a summary of the history of posture; a complete dance cannot be easily rendered in illustration.
The text is of the most elementary description; to go into the subject thoroughly would involve years and volumes. The descriptions of the various historic dances or music are enormous subjects; two authors alone have given 800 dances in four volumes [1].

It would have been interesting if some idea of the orchesography of the Egyptians and Greeks could have been given; this art of describing dances much in the manner that music is written is lost, and the attempts to revive it have been ineffective. The increasing speed of the action since the days of Lulli would now render it almost impossible.
It is hoped that this work may be of some use as illustrating the costume, position and accessories of the dance in various periods to those producing entertainments.

To the reader desirous of thoroughly studying the subject a bibliography is given at the end. (see the Bibliography).


Footnote 1: Thompson's complete collection of 200 country dances performed at Court, Bath, Tunbridge, and all public assemblies, with proper figures and directions to each set for the violin, German flute, and hautboy, 8s. 6d. Printed for Charles and Samuel Thompson, St. Paul's Churchyard, London, where may be had the yearly dances and minuets. Four volumes, each 200 dances. 1770-1773.

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