The Encyclopedia of World Folk Dance

Rowman & Littlefield. Aug. 2016. 464p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781442257481. $95; ebk. ISBN 9781442257498. REF
Snodgrass (Encyclopedia of World Ballet) examines "the placement of folk dances within world history" in this useful reference. Each entry cites its source(s) at the end. Some summaries place folk dance within a subject, as in "Art, Folk Dance In" or "Film, Folk Dance In." Examples of dances mentioned include the czardas, the mazurka, the polonaise, the Highland fling, and the hula as well as Native American dances such as the sun dance and the ghost dance. There are general entries ("Greek Dance"; "Jewish Dance"), along with more intriguing ones (e.g., "Dragon Dance"; "Parasol Dance"). Rituals—coming-of-age, nuptials—are covered as well. Shamanic dance, worship dance, and sacrificial dance give yet additional perspectives on movement as ceremony. This resource is noteworthy for its interweaving of dances with information on their respective countries/cultures and their purposes and meanings. Students doing reports will benefit from the helpful bibliography, which separates primary and secondary sources, and from the glossary and chronology. Color and black-and-white photographs provide examples. Often one has to research a country to find out more about its traditions, but this book offers an overview that is subject specific, making it a strong option for those seeking folk dance materials.
VERDICT An excellent introduction for anyone looking for information on world folk dance and its terminology.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing