People used to dance to classical music
I have no evidence for this, other than intuition. But I am convinced. Put on Vivaldi or Mozart and tell me you don't at least want to tap your feet. Nietzsche talks somewhere about sitting at the top of the concert hall and bopping along to classical concerts. If you don't want to sway when you hear Handel's Sarabande or jig along to Bach's partita preludes and gigues or bob to Haydn's piano sonata 53 you may not be listening properly.
Archaeology delivers traces of dance from prehistoric times such as the 30,000-year-old Bhimbetka rock shelters paintings in India and Egyptian tomb paintings depicting dancing figures from c. 3300 BC.
It just doesn't tally up that people hearing Beethoven for the first time sat still. Didn't they strum or hum or even nod?
Even if they didn't dance to this music, we should. One of the many excellent features of The Favourite was the dance scene. Sure, it was anathema, invention and a bit cockamamy. But it was great. It worked. It is the sort of fictional speculation that helps us imagination what happened in the gaps of history.
We know that people in the past used to go to the theatre and get drunk, they would jeer and leer, shout at public speakers, heckle at hangings, brawl and exchange bawdy in bars. They were adulterous, they gambled and they drank. People of old swore and swived.
I'm pretty sure that if they heard the music we think of as sacred, canonical, or just plain old, for the first time, the way we heard Amy Winehouse or the Rolling Stones, they would have reacted physically, verbally.
Where can I find out more about this?