Textiles in Motion: Dress for Dance in the Ancient World [Hardback]

Audrey Gouy (Editor)

ISBN: 9781789257984 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Series: Ancient Textiles Series | Volume: 41 | Year of Publication: 2023 | Language: English 272p, H280 x W216 (mm) B/w and colour

Textiles in Motion


Dress is at the core of dance. It adorns dancers, defines various roles and forms symbolic expressions that, for example, either bind people together or opposes them. It is a communicative tool that gives crucial information for understanding the dance as well as the culture and the sociological effects of a group of people. As such, dress transcends how it is seen visually to address what is being communicated. Nonetheless, studies in ancient dance have rarely taken clothing into consideration.

This volume provides new perspectives and insights on ancient dances and their ancient textiles. Comprehension of ancient dance benefits from investigations undertaken through the lens of dress, and research on ancient dress is understood through its relation to body movement and performative rituals, thus reinforcing the progressive integration of an anthropological and sociological dimension into historical analysis of ancient textiles. For the first time, the two-way transfer of knowledge between dance studies and costume studies is connected via an innovative approach. Among the issues that are specifically addressed are the movement design of dress for dance, its sensory experience, gender and identity, re-enactment and reception.

The chronological range of the book is focused on the ancient world (3rd-millennium BC to 5th-century AD), with a broad geographical definition in order to promote a comparative, interdisciplinary approach and cross-cultural dialogue.

Table of Contents

Audrey Gouy
1. Practical Perspectives on Dance and Clothing
Elizabeth J. W. Barber
Movement and Design
2. Dancing in flames - fabulous designs from the desert sands. Reconstructing the east Central Asien skirts’ construction secret
Ulrike Beck
3. The whirling dance of Baukis: reinterpreting our sources
Elena Miramontes Seijas
4. Dance and Metatheatre in Menander’s Theophoroumene
Evangelia Keramari
Embodiment and Communication
5. The unhellenic attire of choruses as image of the ‘other’ in ancient Greek tragedy
Leonidas Papadopoulos.
6. The Dress of the dancing Lares
Alexandra Sofroniew
7. Dance and Clothing in Ancient Egypt ‒ the Earliest Evidence
Heidi Köpp-Junk
Cognition and Sensory Experience
8. Soft cloth and sounding jewellery – sound fields of rich women in Eastern Hallstatt Culture
Karina Grömer and Beate Maria Pomberger
9. Flowing White Dresses for Dancing Initiates in the Mysteries of Eleusis
Aikaterini-Iliana Rassia
10. Fashioning Sensescapes through Ancient Egyptian Dance
Jordan Galczynski and Robyn Price
Images and Metaphors
11. Dancing around the Goddess’ dress
Angela Bellia
12. ‘Wearing’ tattoos in Ancient Egypt. Evidence from Middle Kingdom mummies and feminine figurines
Vittoria Rapisarda
Modern Reception
13. Egyptologist Dancers – Re-enacting ‘Ancient Egyptian’ Dances at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century
Gerrit Berenike Heiter

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