John Weaver (dancer)

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A Collection of Ball-dances Perform'd at Court; all compos'd by Mr. Isaac, and writ down in characters, by John Weaver, dancing-master (1706)

John Weaver (21 July 1673 – 24 September 1760) was an English dancer and choreographer, and is often regarded as the father of English pantomime.[1]

Weaver was born in Shrewsbury. His father, a dance teacher, suggested he go to London and become a ballet master. Weaver soon became a specialist in comic roles and created the first pantomime ballet, the burlesque Tavern Bilkers (1702). His more serious work, The Loves of Mars and Venus, dealt with themes from classical literature and required a significant amount of gestures due to the story not being expressed in any spoken form. Because Weaver attempted to use plot and emotion in replacement of more sophisticated technical and speech methods, he is considered a major influence on subsequent choreographers, including Jean-Georges Noverre and Gasparo Angiolini.[citation needed]

His books include a translation of Raoul Auger Feuillet's Orchesography, and two original works titled A Small Treatise of Time and Cadence in Dancing' (1706) and A collection of ball-dances performed at court (1706). He also published "Anatomical and mechanical lectures upon dancing. Weherein rules and institutions for that art are laid down and demonstrated" (1721).


  1. ^ David Christopher (2002). "British Culture: An Introduction". p. 74. Routledge,

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