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Diane Publishing Books
Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy
Barbara Ehrenreich (au)
A fascinating exploration of one of humanity’s oldest traditions: the celebration of communal joy, expressed throughout the ages in ecstatic celebrations of feasting, costuming, and dancing. Although Europeans from the 16th cent. onward viewed mass festivities as foreign and “savage,” they were, in fact, indigenous to the West, from the ancient Greeks’ worship of Dionysus to the medieval practice of Christianity as a “danced religion.” Ultimately, church officials succeeded in driving the festivities out of the churches and into the streets (where they became “carnival”). The festive tradition inspired French revolutionary crowds and countless uprisings of slaves and colonized peoples form the Caribbean to West Africa to the American plains.
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