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The Oxford Dictionary of Dance (Oxford Quick Reference) Paperback – September 10, 2010

3.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-This single-volume dictionary offers amazingly comprehensive coverage of the world of dance. Within its 25,000 entries, readers can find everything from a three-line explanation of "fado" to a three-page essay about Russia, the USSR, and ballet. Choreography, performers, composers, designers, companies, institutions, specific works and productions, terminology, films, and even dance shoes are all included. Longer essays address dance by country, historical period, and form. From classical ballet to hip-hop, fandango to Kabuki, Fonteyn to Fosse-they're all here. Dance dictionaries and/or encyclopedias with this breadth of coverage are hard to find. Although this dictionary has no illustrations, its all-inclusive format makes it an excellent purchase for any high school library.-Becky Ferrall, Stonewall Jackson High School, Manassas, VA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

This is a new version of the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Ballet (2d ed., 1987).Both authors have published widely in Britain on the subject of dance. In this volume, they have broadened coverage to include the history and practice of dance on the "international stage." They state that the work reflects "the unprecedented diversity of the art form as it enters the twenty-first century." They are careful to point out, however, that it does not attempt to include those dance forms that are confined to specific native cultures. They treat dance from a theatrical rather than an anthropological viewpoint.

Entries are brief, usually one paragraph, but major individuals, institutions, and works receive longer ones. Lengthy works lists are provided for a very small number of well-known artists, like Balanchine. The dictionary is still concise , although that word is no longer part of the title. Some entries found in earlier versions have been dropped (for example, Katharine Abel, a famous Viennese dancer who died in 1892, is gone), probably to make room for new and updated entries. Among the new entries are Merce Cunningham's Beach Birds , which premiered in 1991 and was partially created using a computer program; the Ballets Trockaderos de Monte Carlo company; and the Pilobolus Dance Theater, which practices a form of sculptural dance that includes acrobatics, gymnastics, pantomime, and modern dance. Such entries represent the dictionary's acceptance of more diversity among the types of dance included.

Perusing a sampling of entries, one finds specific works (Coppelia , Mass for Our Time , Riverdance ), companies (Berlin Opera Ballet, Rockettes, Stuttgart Ballet), musicians and composers, dance steps and styles, and surveys of dance in various countries. Attesting to the fact that classical ballet, tap, and modern dance are represented, there are entries for Alvin Ailey, Savion Glover, Martha Graham, Gene Kelly, Rudolph Nureyev, Bill Robinson (Bojangles), and Tommy Tune, to name a few. The work cannot match the depth of coverage in the two-volume encyclopedia International Dictionary of Ballet (St. James, 1993) and the recent International Encyclopedia of Modern Dance (St. James, 1998). However, it packs an amazing amount of information into a small amount of space. Very affordable, it is well worth adding to a dance collection in any library and provides a compact, handy way to access dance facts quickly. REVWR
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Quick Reference
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (September 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199563446
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199563449
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.5 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
At the risk of stating the obvious like a darn fool, it is a dictionary in every sense of the word. Arranged in alphabetical order, this book contains encyclopaedic entries on famous dancers, choreographers, dance companies from around the world, dance terminology and even composers like Charles Ives and Richard Strauss (whose music were used in miscellaneous dances). From Alvin Ailey to the Zurich Ballet, it serves as a quick reference for seasoned followers of dance, while pure beginners might get lost in the mass of text. Those into visual aids will also be utterly disappointed for there's none here. But on the whole, it's still worth the space on your bookshelf.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This two-column, text-only book has considerable coverage of ballet terms, choreographers, dancers, and dance companies . . . and disappointingly little outside those areas. My primary dance these days is Argentine tango, and all I found was a short paragraph under Argentina and under tango, and nothing on tango dance movements. This 2nd edition was published in 2010. I find nothing under breakdance, b-boy, crump, or any number of terms you've heard for years on So You Think You Can Dance.

I thought this might make for some interesting browsing during idle moments, but the visual presentation is so dull, the descriptions so dry, and the coverage so limited that I'm not going to find a place for it in my permanent library.
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By E on January 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book really does have entries on everything from Astaire to the Zurich Ballet. So much information in one relatively small book. Really great for reference. Very informative.
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Not what I was expecting at all. I was really hoping for more dance terms and not so much about famous dancers.
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