The Art of Dancing Explained by Reading and Figures and Six Dances (Hardcover)
Kellom Tomlinson was one of the most important figures in the history of dance in England in the early 18th century. This treatise, The Art of Dancing, completed by 1724 but due to high production costs not published until 1735, is the only substantial English work of its kind not derived from a French original. Tomlinson was one of the most prolific of the dancing masters working in England at this time, although details of his life and career are few. He was born c. 1693 and was apprenticed between 1707 and 1714 to the well-known and highly regarded dancing master Thomas Caverley. During this time he was also instructed in dancing 'in the theatrical way' by Ren Cherrier, a French dancer and teacher who performed frequently in London. Although there is no record of Tomlinson as a performer himself, he was associated from 1715 with the professional theatre, particularly that in Lincoln's Inn Fields, and also began at that time to establish himself as a dancing master to the nobility and gentry. In this treatise, in two parts, Tomlinson sets forth the principles of Baroque dance. The book is divided into two parts: part one contains detailed written descriptions of twenty nine steps; book two discusses the minuet, including four methods of performing the minuet step. The present facsimile reprint also includes six dances, in the Feuillet notation system, published by Tomlinson between 1715 and 1720: The Passpied Round O, The Shepherdess, The Submission, The Prince Eugene, The Address, and the Gavot (sic).