'What role does dance play in classical music?' asks Catherine Bott.
The short answer, Catherine says, is 'It’s everywhere.' In medieval times there was dancing in church, in the 17th and 18th centuries, and courtly dances like the courante and the gigue gave Bach and Handel the basis for keyboard masterpieces that were mainly for listening to. And throughout history, composers have written music for those controversial dances designed to entice couples onto the floor – as George Bernard Shaw may or may not have said, “Dancing is the vertical expression of a horizontal desire”.