The Folk Dance Library: Folk Dances of the United States and Mexico

The Folk Dance Library: Folk Dances of the United States and Mexico

The Folk Dance Library: Folk Dances of the United States and Mexico

The Folk Dance Library: Folk Dances of the United States and Mexico

Excerpt

The Folk Dance Library was undertaken by the authors as the result of innumerable requests directed both to them and to the publishers from teachers at all educational levels and from recreation leaders for a presentation of folk dance materials immediately to the teaching of folk dance as a cultural subject as well as a form of motor activity. It is designed, therefore, to provide teachers of folk dance in schools and colleges, recreationalists, leaders of folk dance in churches and civic organizations, and all individuals everywhere who are interested in this fascinating heritage of our civilization with a more intimate acquaintance with folk dance materials as a means of enriching their study. The underlying purposes of the authors in undertaking the development of The Folk Dance Library are:

First, to present a collection of folk dances representative of as many nations as possible with clear directions and musical accompaniments for each of the dances analyzed.

Second, to arrange the folk dances presented in units of organization according to specific geographical regions with representative dances of varying degrees of difficulty within each unit. The Folk Dance Library includes the directions and music for eighty-three folk dances grouped into seven regional units for their presentation along with the analyses of fundamental and basic steps, formations, and directions employed in the descriptions of the dances themselves. This organization of materials into units serves the two-fold purpose of providing enough folk dance material to insure more than a sporadic and superficial acquaintance with the characteristic folk dances of the countries represented and of providing enough folk dance material within each unit to serve as a nucleus for folk dance parties, festivals, and other culminating projects. In each unit, therefore, there are some very simple dances for general participation as well as others which will prove challenging for those of more advanced skill. The dances listed in each unit are arranged in order of difficulty and include dances for boys and men only, for girls and women only, and for mixed groups comprised of both sexes. The material incorporates dances which are ceremonial and ritualistic in origin as well as those which are highly social and recreational in nature.

Third, to present background materials in conjunction with each unit of dances so that folk dance may be correlated with and integrated more effectively into the curriculum as a whole to the end that, through folk dance, students may gain a better understanding of their neighbors in the world at large. Each unit includes, therefore, (1) a brief résumé of the history and characteristics of the peoples whose dances are analyzed; (2) a survey of general topographical and climatic conditions of the given region and a map with the placement of towns, villages, rivers, and mountains directly associated with the origins of the dances which follow; and (3) an overview of the folk dances of the specific country or countries described, significant holidays or festivals commemorated, forms of musical accompaniments, and traditional costumes with a colored costume plate illustrating authentic and typical costumes . . .

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