Dance and Music in SENSE & SENSIBILITY
If you’ve ever seen a screen adaptation of any of Jane Austen’s works, you may have noticed that dancing plays a significant part in the social life of her characters. Whether it’s Anne in Persuasion, who is considered an old maid and consequently is expected to play the piano while her younger cousins dance with the man she loves…or the drama of who dances with whom in Emma, an instance where dance really moves the plot along…or the younger Bennett sisters in Pride and Prejudice constantly clamoring to dance, or the tense conversation between Elizabeth and Darcy during several dances in that same novel…Austen uses dancing in dramatic, specific ways to advance plot and reveal character.
Sense and Sensibility is no exception, although it is not dancing per se which is the key to the London ballroom scene in Act 2. Nonetheless, the dances need to be right, and there was only one place to turn: