Dress for Dance

Top Level Group - Dress for Dance

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The variety found in the Museum's collection of dance costumes maps London's complex cultural landscape, where performance has always been at the heart of the city's identity. The objects embody an eclectic breadth around 'dance' in three broad areas - ballet, social dance, and dance entertainment, ranging from dolls dressed in 1840s stage costume to 21st century African dance outfits. Dance encompasses London's West End theatres and Royal houses and halls, to more robust entertainment in music-halls and cabaret, and the personal pleasures of social dancing everywhere from quiet outer suburbs to the Café Royale.

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