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Dance, Dancers and the Performance Cohort in the Old Kingdom

Lesley Kinney
Publication Year:
281pp. Illustrated with figures, drawings and photographs. 2 data Appendices.
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


The purpose of this volume is to reveal as much information as possible on the nature of dance in Old Kingdom Egypt. This is achieved through the thorough examination of the primary evidence pertaining to dance in the old Kingdom, which comes to us in the form of pictures, letters, captions and titles. Scenes of dance abound in tomb decoration, in particular, but can also be found in solar temples attended by the living. Indeed, when a clear definition of what constituted dance in Ancient Egypt is reached, the number of pictorial examples relating to dance became so vast that it necessitated restricting this study to material from the old Kingdom. While the study of pictures of dance reveals much about the history and development of art, much regarding the nature of dance can also be perceived. It is reasonable to assume that much of the information recorded regarding dance; the poses, costumes, props and gender of dancers as depicted in scenes of dance, should reflect the nature of dance as it was performed at the time and even the region in which it was recorded. Therefore, the developments traced in the course of this study relate to the art history record of dance as much as to dance itself.