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Tilden Russell
Southern Connecticut State University (New Haven, CT 06515-1355)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$25,200 (approved)
$25,200 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2011 – 6/30/2011

The Compleat Dancing Master: A Translation of Gottfried Taubert's Rechtschaffener Tantzmeister (1717)

Gottfried Taubert's immense treatise, the Rechtschaffener Tantzmeister (Leipzig: Friedrich Lanckischens Erben, 1717), is a truly encyclopedic work, a cosmology, so to speak, of dance in Taubert's time. At over 1200 pages, the Rechtschaffener Tantzmeister is by far the most voluminous and compendious source for eighteenth-century dance. Sadly, though, it has been among the most inaccessible and least known sources. Printed in Fraktur and written in an old-fashioned style, it has been declared "unreadable," "a linguistic mishmash," and "incomprehensible." Even German dance scholarship has given scant attention to Taubert and his milieu until quite recently. By default, decades of dance-history scholarship have privileged other sources while this indispensable one, with more to tell us about eighteenth-century dance than any other, remained unread. This translation will be a revelation to dance historians and historical dancers.