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History of Square Dancing - Ralph Page

Between 1972 and 1974, Ralph Page wrote a series of essays entitled A History of Square Dancing. For ease in downloading, we have collected them into "chapters" that group together similar topics. The essays were published in the magazine Square Dancing as follows:Dancing In New England 11/1972The Revolutionary Era 1/1973Direct Ancestors…

The Birth of the Cotillion and the Quadrille, French Contredanses

This is a translation of Simonne Voyer's article, "La naissance du cotillon et du quadrille, contredanses françaises."The translation is by Susan Kevra, Senior Lecturer in French and American Studies, Vanderbilt University, as well as a caller of American contras and squares and English country dances.

Contredanse française - pot-pourri of dances

This selection of dances from the period of the French Revolution begins with an introduction (in French). The actual dancing begins about 2:20.

La boulangère - dance of French Revolution

Dance from the period of the French Revolution. La Boulangère was the only dance mentioned by name by Jane Austen, and it is related to an American dance figure of the south called the Shoo-Fly Swing.

Nineteenth Century Social Dance (article)

Library of Congress overview of dance history, including links to specific books in their collection.

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Late Eighteenth-Century Social Dance (article)

Article that provides a summary of 18th century dance, including the contredanse française, a dance for four couples in a square. Also offers links to documents in the Library of Congress website of dance manuals.

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La naissance du cotillon et du quadrille, contredanses françaises

Article (in French) by Simonne Voyer, who is the author of La danse traditionnelle dans l'est du Canada: quadrilles et cotillons. For a translation in English by Susan Kevra, click here.

Cotillon / Cotillion / Contredanse Française

referring to a dance in our collection:The dance is a contredanse from de la Cuisse, published in 1762. It was not called a cotillion in France. Once de la Cuisse had published his collection, the contredanses became popular in England and were simplified (fewer figures but the same idea of a main chorus with changing verses) and called them by the…

3 Contredanses françaises

These three dances date to the late 18th century. They are reconstructed from the Manuscrit de Trois-Rivières, the earliest dance manuscript in Canada; click here for more information about the manuscript and the reconstruction.Also see the Trois-Rivières commentary document in this collection, which gives an English translation and…