This article considers women’s role as performers in Will Kemp’s nine day morris dance from London to Norwich in February 1600, particularly the two young women who danced with him along the way, one at Chelmsford and one at Bury. Closely examining Kemp’s Nine daies wonder and consulting relevant scholarship on women and performance, the essay argues that Kemp’s interaction with female dancers reveals a great deal about the status, motivations, and strategies of women’s performance and that it shows collaboration rather than rivalry as a viable model for understanding the relationships between professional male performers and the amateur women who performed outside of London.
Peter Parolin (firstname.lastname@example.org) is associate professor of English at the University of Wyoming. With Pamela Allen Brown he edited Women Players in England, 1500-1660: Beyond the All-Male Stage (2005). His essays have appeared in Renaissance Drama, Shakespeare Studies, and Shakespeare Quarterly.
''If I had begun to dance': Women's Performance in Kemps Nine Daies Wonder'.
15.1 (2012). Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.mcmaster.ca/earlytheatre/vol15/iss1/4