Kiss, Dóra. “Canonisation of the Danced Minuet over Centuries.” In Relevance and Marginalisation in Scandinavian and European Performing Arts 1770-1860: Questioning Canons, edited by Randi Margrete Selvik, Svein Gladsø, and Annabella Skagen, 43-65. London: Routledge, 2021.
This chapter [Chapter 3] is about belle dance and the minuet as a canonised ideal in France. The minuet has been regarded as the most typical representative of belle danse, a style associated with the eighteenth century. Kiss regards belle danse as a canonised style, and the minuet as a canonical form of that style. She asks how and when the dance was canonised and argues that this has been a long and ongoing process. The minuet became an internationally shared reference and an abstract model, from which many canons could be claimed, and those have been constantly changing. It was a common dance in the eighteenth century, and it has been simplified and summarised from that period until now. Referring to eighteenth-century treatises and modern scholarly dance literature, Kiss demonstrates that the process of the canonisation of the minuet was not unique, but repeated by different authors and in different places and periods, and that today several canonic minuets co-exist. She discusses various theoretical definitions of the minuet across time, as well as reinterpretations, variations, and new inventions; and she gives an analysis of a notated eighteenth-century dance and a twentieth-century photo of people dancing the minuet.