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Maud Allan: Her life, work & place in western early modern theatre dance.

Bishop, Carol. (1994) Maud Allan: Her life, work & place in western early modern theatre dance. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Maud Allan (b. 1873-d. 1956) performed in the style described as western early modern theatre dance from her debut in 1903 until the mid 1930s. She was an Edwardian star attraction on the London music hall stage. However, in the general dance history literature Allan's role has not been recognized. Her work is invariably relegated to a footnote. This current largely negative perception of Allan is perplexing since readings of contemporary descriptions of her performances present a more positive portrait. This thesis examines the paradoxical contrast of Allan's contemporary image with the later verdict of dance historians. This uncritical judgement of her inferior position in dance historiography has been made without the benefit of a full and detailed documentation of both her life and work. This study provides the essential foundation to enable future dance historians to further re-evaluate Allan's role. Part One details her life and explores contextual issues. Allan's superior musicality and exposure to early German expressionism is examined. Part Two narrows the focus to a study of her choreographic and performance styles. The construction of an original choreochronicle of Allan's complete repertoire provides an essential underpinning for this research. Her role as a choreographic innovator may have been relatively minor, but her function as a proselytiser for modern dance in Britain has hitherto not been addressed. Allan fought hard through example and speech to make the music hall a permissible and respectable venue for serious dance. It is hypothesized that Allan's true significance may not be only her qualities as a dancer, but rather her function as a role model who helped to legitimize bare-foot dancing in Britain and thus prepared the way for the next generation of western early modern theatre dancers.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Bishop, Carol.
Date : 1994
Contributors :
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 09 Nov 2017 12:16
Last Modified : 20 Jun 2018 11:15

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