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It’s years ago since a Spanish friend and dancing colleague told me that there was a connection between Schottische and a Spanish dance called chotis, and I’ve been meaning to look it up properly ever since. I’ve now come across this fabulous page:  Kicking It Up: ‘Asi se baila el chotis’ (this is how you dance the chotis) which traces several international links between the Schottische and its counterparts in other countries. The page is  part of a project called Modern Moves: Kinetic Transnationalism and Afro-Diasporic Rhythm Cultures, a “five-year =research project (June 2013 – May 2018), funded by a European Research Council Advanced Grant, and located at the Department of English, King’s College London.”

I’m thrilled by this, but also slightly dismayed that yet again, when you want to know something that has really bugged you about dance and music, more often than not, it seems to be done by people outside conventional music or dance studies, as if those disciplines are in fact too disciplined to generate the right kind of questions and research methods. The site looks fantastic, and I’m looking forward to exploring more.

Here’s a nice sample of one of the clips – music: Feira de Mangaio by Sivuca

3 thought on “The schottische and the chotis, and other dances”
  1. On the subject of historical dances: I have been playing Baroque music and have become interested in the dances that much of it comes from, e.g., Bach’s instrumental music has movements with dance names and rhythms. Do you know of good resources on Baroque dance or people who re-enact it? I’ve looked online and not found much guidance.

    1. There are three books I’d recommend:

      Allanbrook, W. J. (1983). Rhythmic gesture in Mozart: le nozze di Figaro & Don Giovanni. Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press.
      Little, M., & Jenne, N. (2001). Dance and the music of J.S. Bach (Expanded ed.). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press,.
      Ratner, L. G. (Leonard G. (1980). Classic music: Expression, form, and style. New York ; Schirmer,.

      There’s also Zbikowski’s article (free online) from the Oxford Handbook of Topic Theory (first book on this bibliography, with a link to the text)

      There’s a great baroque dance playlist here

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Jonathan Still, ballet pianist