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Items from "Historical squares": 40

The Lancers - Ralph Page's historical notes

In the pages of his Northern Junket magazine, caller and dance historian Ralph Page enjoyed sharing articles based on his dance research. He included a six-part series on the Lancers. California caller and choreographer Chris Page (no relation) created a highly personal index to some of his favorite pieces from the magazine, including links to this…

The History of Square-Dancing - S. Foster Damon

The History of Square Dancing, published by S. Foster Damon in 1957, is one of the few books that presents a broad picture of the subject. The book was a reprint of his 1952 article published in the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society.Dance caller and researcher Fred Feild summarizes Damon's main points about the development of squares…

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.

Uncle Steve's Quadrille (description)

This dance was published in Elizabeth Burchenal's Folk-Dances from Old Homelands (1922). This is the first dance iin the book, one of two American dances, along with Old Dan Tucker. (See the moving images of Burchenal leading Old Dan Tucker here.)Burchenal's dance description says it stems from Oxford County, Maine: "This is an old-time country…

Uncle Steve's Quadrille (recording)

The first audo file contains instructions for the dance; it is followed by two music files with calls for the first and second figures.Detailed information about this dance, as published in Elizabeth Burchenal'sFolk-Dances from Old Homelands (1922) can be found here; information about the recording, Victor 35739, can be found here. Victor…

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.

Quadrille (2 figures)

This is part of a lengthy presentation of historical dances by "Veronica's Vagabonds," Veronica McClure, director; recorded May 19, 1985, at Kramer's Hayloft, South Weymouth, Massachusetts.

The narrator introduced the dance with these words: "In the first quarter of the nineteenth century, the quadrille, a square dance, became popular. The…

Danish Lancers, first figure

La Dorset, 1st figure of the Lancers as danced today in Denmark. Subsequent videos at this site show the other four figures.

Caribbean Quadrille - Dominica

This is but one example of a quadrille tradition that has been kept alive in many Caribbean islands, here performed by Dominica Oversea Nationals Association (DONA) - Quadrille Dancers.

Fledermaus Quadrille

Michael Bergman: Sadly, they've substituted walking steps for the more difficult Regency-era style steps that were still in fashion when the music was written. They are correctly using the older French formation of lines of couples facing couples across the set, with no progression, which predates the four-couple quadrille. On the positive side,…

Late Nineteenth Century Quadrille

Virtually every dance manual published during the nineteeth century contains information on the performance of the quadrille. The Library of Congress site where this video (and others in the same series) first appeared gives many links for further study. (That site also provides links to the video in many different formats for viewing.)Other videos…

Royal Scotch Quadrilles - 5th figure

Comments from Susan de Guardiola: The Royal Scotch Quadrilles were written by London dancing master Thomas Wilson in response to the (in his opinion, undeserved) success of The Caledonian Quadrilles, which he accurately regarded as French quadrilles cleverly marketed as Scottish (via a bagpiper on the cover) rather than as truly Scottish style…

le quadrille Américain - late 19th century

Tune composed and dance choreographed by François Paul in 1888, this dance was done up until World War I. It is composed of five figures: promenade, the basket, wooden horses, the visits and "The American." The last figure is a combination of a double basket figure and a variation of La Boulangère, in which dancers do a series of swings with new…

Lancers, 5th figure

The music for this group of dancers is by Spare Parts, from their compact disc, The Civil War Ballroom.

Iowa dance program, 1864

Mid-19th century dance programs were comprised primarily of quadrilles and couple dances. Here is one such program from Des Moines, Iowa, 1864.

PROGRAMME.
Part First.
GRAND MARCH...............
1 ...New Years Quadrille.
2....Rochester Schottische.
3....Coquette Cotillion.
4....Serious Family Polka.
5....Lanciers.
6....Waltz…

Haynes Family manuscript - Oregon

This manuscript of sixty-five dance tunes was handed down through several generations of the Haynes, Shuck, and Adams families who came West over the Oregon Trail from Ohio, Kentucky, Iowa and Missouri between 1847 and 1853. Many of the family members were musical, and over the years several people contributed tunes to the manuscript, from which…

Square Dance History Pageant, part 1 - 1976

The 25th annual National Square Dance Convention took place in 1976, the year of the United State Bicentennial Celebration. A historical pageant at the convention features a series of dances illustrating American social dance through time, with a particular focus on squares. This was an edited version of that presentation.

Terpsichore In The Flat Creek Quarters, Pea Ridge

Pencil drawing showing a dance with African-American musicians and dancers with the following manuscript poem below: ‘Listen when I call de figgers! Watch de music es ye go! Chassay forrard! (Now look at ‘em! some too fas’ & some too slow!) Step but when I gibs de order; keep up eben wid de line; Whats got in dem lazy niggers?…

Description of a Quadrille, 1870, West Virginia

Satirical description of a quadrille, from a West Virginia newspaper; no mention is made of a caller

Lancers, 5th figure - Wayside Inn, 1932

This home movie is one of eight reels filmed in the 1930s at the Wayside Inn, Sudbury, MA. (More information about these films is available here.) The Inn at the time was owned by Henry Ford. Ford had encountered dancing master Benjamin Lovett at the Inn and hired him to come to Michigan to teach dancing there to his employees. This is the earliest…