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Items from "Historical squares": 40

Beseda Quadrille, part I

František Bonuš, a noted dance pedagogue from Prague, led a quadrille workshop in Berea, Kentucky in 1987. The video of the entire workshop is lengthy and has been edited and divided into nine parts. This is Part 1 and shows figures from the Czech quadrille, Beseda, a dance in eight parts. The date of composition for the dance is in…

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.

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.

Description of a Quadrille, 1870, West Virginia

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

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,…

Frank Chavez Describes American Square Dances and Spanish Cuadrillas in New Mexico

From childhood, 70-year old fiddler Frank Chavez was exposed to New Mexico Spanish folk music, growing up west of Estancia in New Mexico. Frank was a guitar player and then in 1990, after meeting Ken Keppeler and Jeannie McLerie, picked up the fiddle as well. Since then, he’s learn many of the tunes from what he calls “The Golden…

Grand Square - Edson Cole

This dance starts with the Grand Square figure, along with other calls common to the 5th figure of the Lancers.Edson Cole was a fiddler and dancing master from Freedom, NH. He was documentedby Eloise Hubbard Linscott in her 1939 book, Folk Songs of Old New England. This 78 rpm recording was made available to Dudley Laufman, who released it with…

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…

Hoodoo Religion and American Dance Traditions: Rethinking the Ring Shout

Article by Katrina Hazzard-Donald looks at the relationship between African-American churches and traditional dance. As the article's summary puts it: "When one considers the history of American dance traditions one rarely thinks about its possible relationship to the local African American "Sanctified" or fundamentalist church described in works…

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…

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.

Lancers

Dance Discovery, a St Louis, Missouri troupe, dances all five figures at a Lincoln program given at Lovejoy Library at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville on November 25, 2007. The dance is included in Lincoln's 1861 inaugural ball.

Lancers, 5th figure

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

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…

Las Cuadrillas: Five-Part Suite

The interpretation and choreography of the five part Las Cuadrillas is by Dr. Lorenzo A. Trujillo based on the teaching of Marie Oralia Duran Trujillo, Damian Archuleta, with additional notes by Helen Mareau. The music was compiled by Aurora Lucero-White and Eunice Hauskins (1940). The music is available on a CD, "The Golden Age of the Southwest:…

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…

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…

Les Lanciers or Duval's 2nd Set. No.4 & 5

Intended as an introduction to Regency quadrilles for new members of Quadrille Club, the steps used in the Grand Chain have been simplified by leaving out the `Ballotes' called for in the origional instructions. Dance and clothes are circa 1816. More information about the Quadrille Club is here.

Les Quatre Berceaux - cotillion for 6 couples

“Les Quatre Berceaux” (The Four Cradles) was presented by Dance Discovery at the Missouri History Museum in conjunction with an exhibit on Napoleon. The group reconstructed the dance from the printed French description published in Paris in 1801.Credits:Rebecca Taylor translated the archaic French into modern English.John Ramsay…