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Orchesography Or, the Art of Dancing The Art of Dancing by Characters and Demonstrative Figures   By: (1660?-1710)

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BY Characters and Demonstrative Figures.

WHEREIN The whole Art is explain'd; with compleat Tables of all Steps us'd in Dancing, and Rules for the Motions of the Arms

WHEREBY Any person (who understands Dancing) may of himself learn all manner of Dances.

BEING An Exact and Just Translation from the French of Monsieur Feuillet. By JOHN WEAVER, Dancing Master.

Pars pedibus plaudant Choreas, Virg. Aenid. 6.

LONDON: Printed by H. Meere, at the Black Fryars, for the Author, and are to be sold by P.Valliant, French Bookseller near Catherine Street, in the Strand. 1706. To Mr. Isaac. SIR, Tho' Dancing and Musick seem to be of near an equal Antiquity, and even of an equal Extent, yet Musick has long receiv'd an Advantage, which Dancing wanted. Musick has employ'd the Pens of many of the Learned, both Ancient and Modern, and has had the Benefit of an universal Character, which convey'd the harmonious Compositions to all Lovers of the Art in all Nations. Dancing, on the contrary, tho' celebrated by Ancient Authors in an extraordinary manner, and with uncommon Praises, (as I shall shew in a Treatise, which I shall suddenly publish on that Subject) yet among the Moderns, it has been wholly unknown to the Learned, and destitute of all Pens, in either the speculative or practick part of the Art, which for want of an universal Character, was confin'd to the immediate Master and Scholar, or at farthest, to a narrow traditional Instruction, which none could participate of without a Teacher, who had been taught by some other, either Composer, or Scholar of such Composer. This Inconvenience at length stirr'd up Monsieur Beauchamp to begin what Monsieur Feuillet accomplish'd in the following Treatise, which tho' for some time enjoy'd by the French Nation, as a native Growth, now first appears in its true and just Extent in its Transplantation into the English Climate and Language.

The Service to the Lovers and Professors of this Art, having been the chief Motive of my Undertaking so difficult a Province, that we who enjoy the Happiness of so Great a Master as Mr. Isaac, should not want the Advantage of spreading that Excellence in this Art, which renders him so admir'd by all who have any Taste of it; so having receiv'd such great and generous Encouragement in this Study from you, Sir; the Product of that Encouragement and Study does, as it were, out of a natural Right and just Gratitude, seek Shelter under your Patronage, and challenge the Advantage of appearing in the World under the Protection of your Name, whole known Judgment and Mastery in this Art, will secure me from the Censure of Malice and Ignorance.

However, I shall have little to fear, if I am so happy as to merit that generous Assistance, which you have been pleased to give me in the compiling of this Book; and I am apt to flatter my self, that I have done the Original that Justice, that the Author will have no Reason to complain: But whatever Defects I may have been guilty of in it, I promise my self Forgiveness from so much Goodness and Candor, as all People (with Justice) allow to Mr. Isaac. You are so truly distinguish'd from most Men, by a peculiar Sincerity and Zeal for the Service of your Friend, or him whom you have once thought fit to espouse, that as I have done nothing but comply'd with my own Inclination, in offering this publick Acknowledgment of your Favour, so I have infinite Cause of being perfectly satisfy'd with my Patron.

I know it is the Custom of Dedicators, to launch forth into the Praises of the Virtues and Parts of their Patrons; but I know Mr. Isaac too well, to think I can render my self more acceptable to him, by entertaining him with his own Deserts, since they are too well known to all your Acquaintance, to need a Publication in this place. Not but that it would be a Theme infinitely grateful to me; but I shall curb that Inclination, and deny my self a Pleasure that would be disgustful to you. It is enough, that by spreading the Knowledge which the following Book conveys, your Excellence in the Art, your admirable Compositions will more easily, and more largely encrease the Number of your Admirers; among which, there never will be one more truly devoted to your Service, than,


Your most Obliged Humble Servant,

John Weaver... Continue reading book >>

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