Walking and Dancing: Three Years of Dance in London, 1951-53

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Take a walk through London and discover where history happened!

In the early 1950s, the ‘ballet boom’ in Britain was at its height, not only for the country’s ‘home grown’ ballet companies but on the stages where variety, cabaret and musical theatre were performed. Visiting companies brought ballet from America and Europe and national dance styles from around the world.

Between 1951 and 1953 London  also hosted some of the most famous celebrations of nationhood of the twentieth century, shaping the image of Britain for decades to come. The Festival of Britain of 1951, the Accession of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952 and the Coronation of 1953 took place at time when the country was at a juncture between the privations of the 1940s and the more vibrant cultural life of the later 1950s and 1960s.

Using the novel framework of a series of London walks, Larraine Nicholas makes a unique contribution to the current reassessment of this era. Firmly based on primary sources, the walks take readers on imaginative recreations of dance performances within their venues, sometimes in unexpected places, always within the temper of times.

Written for students, dancers and dance audiences, Walking and Dancing is ideal for anyone who fancies stepping outdoors for a self-guided tour of London’s vibrant theatrical heritage.

The Noverre Press (Dance Books), 2013. Softcover, 140 pages.