“With Several Entertainments of Dancing”: Interview with Dance Historian Moira Goff about Dancing on the London Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Stage



Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical (without peer review)
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description This interview was published in a special issue entitled “Theatre and Popular Culture in the English Restoration and Eighteenth Century” of the Theory and Practice in English Studies journal. The interview was conducted with dance historian Dr. Moira Goff, who specializes in ballroom and theatre dance between 1660 and 1760 with a particular interest in dancing on the London stage. Goff insightfully talks about French dancing in English Restoration theatre. She also sheds light on the key role of John Weaver, the dancing master, and John Rich, the theatre manager and famous Harlequin, in the development of English pantomimes. Furthermore, she explains the French notation system for baroque dance which was adopted by the English dancing masters and thanks to which we can nowadays have a good idea about what was danced not only in London at that time. According to Goff, a greater scholarly focus on early eighteenth-century dancing, which has been generally overlooked by theatre historians, would very much deepen our understanding of the English popular stage, on which dance, music and stage action used to be of equal importance.
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