I would NOT have guessed that Lord Byron would be against the Viennese Waltz, but he was. He disliked what he called the selfishness of the dance what hitherto had been a communal experience. There was so much moral opprobrium originally attached to it. That it was going to lead to the downfall of civilization, what with the “voluptuous intertwining of limbs”. The dance that was once the reserve of prostitutes and adulteresses was reaching the royal courts of Europe in the early 19th century. Wiki weighs in on this subject:
This action also required the dancers’ bodies to be very close together and this closeness also attracted moral disparagement. Wolf published a pamphlet against the dance entitled “Proof that Waltzing is the Main Source of Weakness of the Body and Mind of our Generation” in 1797.
A lovely version for your edification.
To understand why Quirey says “The advent of the Waltz in polite society was quite simply the greatest change in dance form and dancing manners that has happened in our history” we need to realize that all European social dances before the waltz were communal sequence dances. Communal, because all the dancers on the floor took part in a pre-set pattern (often chosen by a Master of Ceremony). Dancers separately, and as couples, faced outwards to the spectators as much as they faced inwards. Thus all present took part as dancers or as onlookers. This was the way with the country dance and all previous popular dances. With the waltz, couples were independent of each other, and were turned towards each other (though not in close contact).
Above is more wiki. Usually I am pro-community and against the atomization of life. In 2014 I do not think the waltz (in any of its variants) is considered edgy, radical, the gateway dance to moral decay. Perhaps bisexuality will go through a similar social acceptance as the waltz.
Played the piano today at the seniors’ home for the first time in a year. I had been playing somewhat regularly when a dying man shut me down. Not wanting to create a ruckus, I ceased and desisted pronto. . He died. I am still alive and will resume playing. One of the ironies of that situation, is that when he died shortly afterwards he was lauded like a lion as a friend and patron of the artistic community, except when someone under his own nose wanted to bring some joy to the elderly.
Above love this abstract representation of the waltz. Feel like I could write a book about change, fluidity, switching sides, the observer effect as it were in life. We so desperately want to nail down life, to have it all figured out neatly, wrapped up in a pretty bow when it is something we cannot control as much as we want to. Our bodies, sexuality, mind, relationships all over the place are in flux. We simply have to embrace more dynamism, to trust it will work out for the best and not micromanage things into hysteria and bedlam. What launched me onto this entire bi adventure was just one day casting fear to the wind and it started with a throwaway sentence. How long have I been terrified, afraid of dancing? Ever since I was a teen? 4 plus decades of being petrified in that realm.