Celebrating the appearance in print of a fascinating new collection of essays edited by one of Oxford’s own writers on dance, classical scholar Dr Fiona Macintosh. One of three new publications from the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama, launched at the recent APGRD Conference, “Choruses: Ancient and Modern”, this tempting volume is now available in store.  Price is eye-watering, perhaps we can persuade OUP to produce a more affordable paperback copy to make this thought-provoking scholarship more accessible to the dance community?

The Ancient Dancer in the Modern World: Responses to Greek and Roman Dance

When the eighteenth-century choreographer Jean-Georges Noverre sought to develop what is now known as modern ballet, he turned to ancient pantomime as his source of inspiration; and when Isadora Duncan and her contemporaries looked for alternatives to the strictures of classical ballet, they looked to ancient Greek vases for models for what they termed ‘natural’ movement. This is the first book to examine systematically the long history of the impact of ideas about ancient Greek and Roman dance on modern theatrical and choreographic practices. With contributions from eminent classical scholars, dance historians, theatre specialists, modern literary critics, and art historians, as well as from contemporary practitioners, it offers a very wide conspectus on an under-explored but central aspect of classical reception, dance and theatre history, and the history of ideas.

This book is an essential complement to the new, performance-based study of ancient theatre.  Lavishly illustrated, with many rare archive photographs, it traces a wealth of classical influences upon modern dance, from Fred Astaire to Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham.


Fiona Macintosh is Director of the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama, Reader in the Reception of Greek and Roman Literature, Supernumerary Fellow St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford


Daniel Albright

Henrietta Bannerman

Richard Cave

Ann Cooper Albright

Helen Eastman

Edith Hall

Sue Jones

Ismene Lada-Richards

Struan Leslie

Nadine Meisner

Pantelis Michelakis

Frederick Naerebout

Barbara Ravelhofer

Kathleen Riley

Tyler Jo Smith

Arabella Stanger

Jennifer Thorp

Ruth Webb

Suzy Wilson

Alessandra Zanobi

Yana Zarifi

Vanda Zajko

Publisher:  Oxford University Press

480 pages; 49 in-text illustrations; 9.2 x 6.1;

ISBN13: 978-0-19-954810-1

ISBN10: 0-19-954810-2