2

The 2016 feature film Pride and Prejudice and Zombies contains a number of scenes depicting dancing, most notable the ball at the Bingley's manor house where the Parson dances claps hands with his dance partner.

Were these dances accurate to the period and\or region in which the film was set?

3
  • 5
    Do you mean the 2016 film? Considering the book it's based on was only written in 2009...
    – F1Krazy
    Jul 19, 2023 at 19:36
  • No, the 1996 film on which the 2009 book was based. Or maybe not Jul 21, 2023 at 8:48
  • I've not seen the movie, so cannot really answer, but the Wikipedia page on Regency Dance suggests the dancing in Jane Austen adaptations tend to "rarely incorporate dances actually of the period and do them without the appropriate footwork and social style which make them accurate to the period". Makes me doubt this movie would be the exception.
    – iandotkelly
    Jul 21, 2023 at 12:41

1 Answer 1

5

Between the following page, that predates the movie but notes most adaptations get it wrong, and the following link that does refer to the movie, with comments quoted, and the link included that has information on Regency dances and also notes that movies have it wrong, there is a high chance that none of the dances are quite correct.

As with movies in general, there may be a bit here and a bit there that might be right, but overall it is artistic licence for the screen and entertainment, and not usually expected to be historically correct. One that is a parody and yet also includes zombies cannot be expected to be any better, though the notes do seem to appreciate the costume changes made for the movie are for the better.

The original zombie adaptation is known for keeping just 15% of Austen's original words and updating the language with modern versions, so it is likely that the historical accuracy of something like dancing would play second fiddle when it got to the screen.

Dancing at the Netherfield Ball: Pride and Prejudice

https://janeaustensworld.com/2010/06/28/dancing-at-the-netherfield-ball-pride-and-prejudice/

Warning: the film adaptations get many dance details wrong.

The movies have it all wrong. According to the author of this post on Capering and Kickery, “Real Regency Dancers Are Au Courant

Along with the peculiar notion that dance figures from the 17th century are useful for the early 19th century comes the even more peculiar notion that entire dances of that era are appropriate. Regency-era dancers were not interested in doing the dances of their great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents, any more than today’s teenagers are. Dances like “Hole in the Wall” and “Mr. Beveridge’s Maggot” were written in the late 17th century. Their music is completely inappropriate for the Regency era. Their style is inappropriate. Their steps are inappropriate. There is no sense in which these dances belong in the Regency era. Loving obsessions with these dances make me want to cry at the sheer ignorance being promulgated by the people who keep putting these dances in movies.”

comments:

about “Mr. Beveridge’s Maggot” being inappropriately used in the films. What a disappointment that they got it so wrong. I love that dance scene in P&P 95.

(re: 95 film) - Every contemporary image of dance shows couples dancing energetically. One scene in this abridged classic of Becoming Jane shows how unromantic such a lively dance would be in a film. One element they did get right is the skipping and hopping steps in the dance.

https://www.kickery.com/2008/03/regency-dancers.html

Real Regency Dancers Don't Turn Single: Ten Tips for Judging Authenticity

As a specialist in early 19th century dance, I regularly get asked what I think of the dancing in the various films of Jane Austen's novels and how to tell if the dancing in the films or being taught by someone or other is authentic to the Regency era (1810-1820). Sadly, the answer is usually "no."

https://frockflicks.com/pride-prejudice-zombies/

Mr. Beveridge’s Maggot is NOT an authentic Regency dance or dance name. That dance was first printed in 1695 and went out of print in c. 1728. No, dancers in Austen’s day did not retain or revive seventy-five-year-old dances. They would have danced some longways dances (Mr Beveridge’s is a longways)–but not THAT one; not the tune nor the figures. Even more likely? A cotillon (a dance for four couples in a square). And no, it is not all the same. Try to picture a film version of On the Road where the characters suddenly break into the Charleston. It is beyond me why filmmakers go to great lengths to get (some of) the details right, and bork the dances.

I was even pleased to see that they went for bouncy dancing (which even though not completely accurate is still a large step up from the slow/stately business in some P&P adaptations).

https://www.literarytraveler.com/articles/pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies-give-an-unlikely-lesson-in-adaptation-is-awesome-while-doing-so/

An interesting take on the movie:

The film is one long, ridiculous anachronism.

Nobody is going to a movie titled Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for historical accuracy.

... to get the best possible experience out of the film, one has to both never forget that it is a Pride and Prejudice adaptation, but not care that it totally disregards that work.

Also:

Deleted dance scene from PPZ:

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .