• Women Dancing the Morris in Fletcher and Shakespeare’s The Two Noble Kinsmen, 1613–2015

    Author(s):
    Elizabeth Zeman Kolkovich (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Subject(s):
    Dance, Dance history, Gender, Shakespeare, Shakespeare and early modern drama, Shakespeare performance, Theater history, Women's history
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    early modern women, morris
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/thp2-5z45
    Abstract:
    This essay analyses how the morris dance in The Two Noble Kinsmen – a crucial moment in the play’s treatment of gender and class rank – intervenes in seventeenth-century debates about the cultural function of morris dancing and especially of women’s roles within it. The essay considers what morris dancing might have signified at the play’s composition and earliest performances by analysing it alongside its courtly source, seventeenth-century pamphlets, and dances inserted in other professional plays, and it examines how modern performances have remade the scene. While the play text empowers its female dancers, most twentieth- and twenty-first-century performances have limited their authority and made the dance into a scene that highlights the oppression of women. Two recent student performances in the U.S. and New Zealand have reframed the play’s morris as a dance that enables women to embrace playful bawdiness, seek reward, or resist social expectations.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives
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