Using dance and performance as part of her political apparatus, Queen Elizabeth consciously staged and manipulated the occasions of her own dancing to help construct her image as monarch and then generated a reputation of herself as a great dancer around those occasions. The issue of dance and politics in the Early Modern Period has been the subject of a number of studies, but much of that scholarship focuses on court spectacles such as the ballet de cour and the masque in the seventeenth-century. In this essay I want to shift the focus to Elizabeth and her dancing in broader terms beyond the confines of the masque. In analyzing the queen’s particular strategies, I will focus on the necessity of display in dance as well as on the convergence of the rhetorics of dancing and language

Author Biography

Bella Mirabella (bella.mirabella@gmail.com) is associate professor of Literature and Humanities at the Gallatin School, New York University, specializing in Renaissance studies, with a focus on drama, theatre, performance, and gender. She has published articles on women, performance, and sexual politics in the Renaissance, and is the editor of Ornamentalism: The Art of Renaissance Accessories (2011). Her current book project is on the interaction of space, object, and performance in early modern Europe.