Tag Archives: american

My current happy place on the interwebs

When the cats bite, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad… I’ve been spending time diving through the digital collections of the Library of Congress. It’s rabbit hole to some of the most delightful content on the web.

For example, the collection of An American Ballroom Companion, dance instruction manuals ca 1490 – 1920. This gorgeous collection is housed on a somewhat outdated site, but you can still get to the content (in both plain text and scans of the pages) if you dig far enough.

My current favorite is Immorality of modern dances, ed. by Beryl and associates. Here’s an excerpt form a chapter entitled “Sinful Modern Square Dances“.

They include, to a certain extent, the immodest Spanish “Pavane,” in which the performers look maliciously at each other, strutting like peacocks, fluttering, fondling, cooing and wooing, approaching and retreating and imitating something in the animal kingdom, until at last, tired of the contest, and from a certain distance, both parties rush like maniacs to the wild close embrace for which they were fully prepared.

Just gorgeous.