Curiosities of Music - online book

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The Emmeleia, was the stately dance belonging to tragedy, and was the one most practised by the poets of that time, as they were often obliged to teach it to the chorus, thus adding the business of dancing master, to their already numerous duties.
The Sicinis was a dance of demigods, and was suited to the immense figure of the heroes of tragedy, already described. There was also a dance representing Theseus wandering about in the labyrinth, the figures of which must have been very twisted and irregular.
There was a species of dancing at banquets and revels, by paid female performers, at which the shape and form of the dancer were as lavishly displayed as in the modern ballet.*
The Cordax, or comic dance was throughout vulgar and unseemly, and no Athenian could dance it unmasked, without bringing down upon himself the reproach of the greatest impudence and immodesty. It was so outrageous that the comic poets often tried to do without it. Aristophanes, in " The Clouds " prides himself that he does not use it in that comedy. The cordax was a dance wherein the utmost vulgarity was not only allowed but demanded.^
Lucian in his treatise "de Saltatione" intimates the existence of various other dances which in his day had fallen into desuetude, as the dance of the Cranes; also the Phrygian dance, which was only
* Phillina, in dialogues of the Hetarre.
t O. Muller Gescta, Grieeh. Lit. t. 2, p. 210.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III