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Prof. Lynn Garafola reflects on the origin of the bow

From Dance Spirit:

“Early opera and ballet performances took place during the Renaissance and then the French courts in the 18th and 19th centuries,” says Lynn Garafola, a dance historian, journalist and professor at Barnard College. “Anytime a duke or sovereign was present, everyone completed elaborate bows as a sign of respect. Performers’ bows were initially related to that.”