Kennedy, Douglas Neil


Kennedy, Douglas Neil
(1893-1988)
   By profession a biologist, but his life's work turned out to be the 'revival and encouragement of folk 'dance through the auspices of the 'English Folk Dance Society (EFDS) and its successor 'English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS). Kennedy was introduced to dancing by his sister in 1911, just at the moment when Cecil 'Sharp was planning to found the EFDS, and was immediately brought under the spell of Sharp's enthusiasm and sense of mission. He became a regular in Sharp's demonstration team which he used to illustrate his lectures and spread the gospel, and as one of the few of Sharp's young men to survive the First World War (he was awarded an MBE for his service), Kennedy (and his wife Helen, sister of Maud 'Karpeles) became leading lights in the burgeoning revival of interest in both country and morris dancing. On Sharp's death in 1924, Kennedy became Organizing Director of the EFDS and remained Director of the EFDSS until 1961. In that time he was the major organizing force in the dance revival and guided the Societies through many crises brought about by changing circumstances and attitudes, in particular over 'standards' of performance and the scrapping of Society examinations, broadening the repertoire of social dance from an over-reliance on the courtly Playford dances to more vigorous traditional dances being collected in English villages and later to include American square dancing, and the need for such a society to adapt, or die. He taught, demonstrated, edited, lectured, organized festivals, led delegations abroad, and remained the official public face of folk dance for decades. Kennedy was awarded an OBE in 1952. When he died, in 1988, the last direct link with Sharp was severed, and it is probably true to say that, after Sharp, Douglas Kennedy was the most influential person in the 20th-century folk dance revival movement.
   Kennedy also served as President of the Folklore Society 1964-7, and his three Presidential Addresses are concerned with the concept of 'Human Ecology' and show his continued interest, as a biologist, in the physical world of dance and song, and on the expression of 'feeling' in traditional cultural activities (Folklore 76 (1965), 81-9; 77 (1966), 81-90; 78 (1966) 81-9. His only major book was England's Dances: Folk Dancing To-Day and Yesterday (1949), revised as English Folk Dancing Today and Yesterday (1964).
   ■ Roy Judge and Derek Schofield, 'A Tribute to Douglas Kennedy', FMJ 5:4 (1988), 520-36; Obituary ED&S 50:1 (1988), 2-4; Douglas Kennedy, 'Folk Dance Revival', FMJ (1971), 80-90.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Douglas Harriman Kennedy — Born March 24, 1967 (1967 03 24) (age 44) Washington, D.C. Education Brown University Occupation journalist Political party …   Wikipedia

  • Neil Simon — Photograph from 1966 Born Marvin Neil Simon July 4, 1927 (1927 07 04) (age 84) The Bronx, New Yo …   Wikipedia

  • Neil Alden Armstrong — Neil Armstrong Pour les articles homonymes, voir Armstrong. Neil Armstrong …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Neil Bzibziak — Ring name(s) Super Fan Chet Douglas Chet The Jet Chet The Jett Chet Jablonski Mariousz Jablonski Billed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[1] Billed weight 232  …   Wikipedia

  • Neil Johnston — No. 6 Center Personal information Date of birth February 4, 1929(1929 02 04) Place of birth Chillicothe, Ohio Date of death …   Wikipedia

  • Neil Cavuto — Neil Cavuto, 2007 Born September 22, 1958 (1958 09 22) (age 53) Westbury, New York, United States Occupation …   Wikipedia

  • Douglas Romayne — Born June 21, 1974 Genres Film score Occupations Composer, Conductor, Orchestrator, Music Producer, Song Writer, Instrumentalist Instruments Guitar, P …   Wikipedia

  • Neil Astley — (b. 12 May 1953, Portchester, Hampshire, England) is a British publisher, editor and writer. Contents 1 Life and work 1.1 Bloodaxe 2 Reception 3 Writing …   Wikipedia

  • Douglas McKay — James Douglas McKay (24 juin 1893 22 juillet 1959) était un homme politique américain. Il a été maire de Salem de 1932 à 1933, sénateur de l’Oregon de 1934 à 1948 et go …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Neil Leon Rudenstine — President of Harvard University Term 1991 – 2001 Predecessor Derek C. Bok Successor Lawrence Summers …   Wikipedia