Since 2010, the last Saturday in July has been celebrated as National Dance Day. The celebration invites everyone to make room for dance in their lives; it's a good form of exercise, and it's fun! We honor National Dance Day with three dance-related items from our collection.
|Ballet began in the Italian and French courts during the Renaissance as entertainment for aristocrats. The first professional ballet company was formed in Paris in the late 17th century. Today, ballet incorporates a wide range of dance and visual styles. Jennifer Homans traces the history of ballet in Apollo's Angels, which is available as an e-book or e-audio at OverDrive, or in print.|
|Much newer than ballet, and created in America, tap dance has its roots in the mixture of several forms of percussive dance, principally various African tribal dances and Irish clog dancing. It began in the mid-19th century as part of the entertainment at minstrel shows, and moved to vaudeville as minstrel shows died out. Brian Seibert's history of tap dancing, What the Eye Hears, is available as an e-book at OverDrive, or in print.|
|One of the challenges of preserving dance is the difficulty of filming it. Dance can involve large numbers of people, each moving in different ways or in different directions; there's a lot for the camera to keep track of. In recent years, some dancers and filmmakers have begun collaborating on creating dances specifically with fim in mind. Dance for Camera is a collection of six such works; it's available for streaming at Kanopy.|