The Traditional Children's Games of England Scotland
& Ireland In Dictionary Form - Volume 2

With Tunes(sheet music), Singing-rhymes(lyrics), Methods Of Playing with diagrams and illustrations.

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that dancing and play-acting are one. The scenes of hunting and war furnish barbarians with subjects for dances, as when the Gold Coast negroes have gone out to war and their wives at home dance a fetish dance in imitation of battle to give their absent husbands strength and courage. . . . Historians trace from the sacred dances of ancient Greece the dramatic art of the civilised world. Thus from the festivals of the Dionysia arose tragedy and comedy. In the classic ages the players' art divided into several branches. The pantomimes kept up the earliest form, where the dancers acted in dumb show such pieces as the labours of Herakles, or Kadmos sowing the dragons teeth, while the chorus below accompanied the play by singing the story. The modern pantomime ballets which keep up remains of these ancient performances show how gro­tesque the old stage gods and heroes must have looked in their painted masks. In Greek tragedy and comedy the business of the dancers and chorus were separated from that of the actors, who recited or chanted each his proper part in the dialogue."
Grimm (Teutonic Mythology) i. p. 43), says, "Easter fires, May Day fires, Midsummer fires, with their numerous cere­monies, carry us back to heathen sacrifices, especially such customs as rubbing the sacred flame, running through glowing embers, throwing flowers into the fire," baking and distributing loaves or cakes, and the circular dance. Dances passed into plays and dramatic representations."
It is then clear that dances accompanied with song and pan­tomimic action have been used by men and women from the earliest period of which we have record, at all times and upon all occasions. In times of joy and mirth, sorrow and loss, victory or defeat, weddings and funerals, plagues and pesti­lences, famine and plenty, civilised and savage alike dance, act, and sing their griefs and their joys. The gods of all nations have been worshipped by pantomimic dance and song, their altars and temples are encircled by their worshippers; and as the occasion was one of fear or joy, and the god entreated or terrified by his followers, so would the actions and voices of the dancers be in accord. When once certain actions were recognised as successful, fitting, or beautiful, they would tend

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