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When Men DanceChoreographing Masculinities Across Borders$
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Jennifer Fisher and Anthony Shay

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195386691

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195386691.001.0001

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Pricked Dances

Pricked Dances

The Spectator, Dance, and Masculinity in Early 18th‐Century England

(p.181) 6 Pricked Dances
When Men Dance

John Bryce Jordan

Oxford University Press

John Bryce Jordan proposes that the linkage between the male dancer and the stigma of effeminacy began in the early 18th century, rather than in the 19th century, as other dance writers and scholars have proposed. Through an analysis of writings in the Spectator, one of the first modern English‐language periodicals (London, 1711–41), Jordan demonstrates how concepts related to masculinity emerged through satire and social commentary, illuminating period understandings of dance as a socially meaningful, gendered practice. Characters who are deemed “problem men” are critiqued by “Mr. Spectator” for wardrobe, manners, and style of country dancing, and include Mr. Shapley, the “beau” (a woman's man, such as Dick Crastin and Tom Tulip), John Trott, Mr. Fanfly, and Mr. Prim. Rather than a marginal activity, dance is shown to be a prominent site for the performance of appropriate and inappropriate behaviors for men in early 18th‐century England.

Keywords:   Spectator, country dancing, effeminacy, 18th‐century England, satire, masculinity, beau, Mr. Shapely, John Trott, Mr. Fanfly, Mr. Prim

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