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George Washington's Favourite

This dance comes from the Asa Wilcox 1793 manuscript held by the Newberry Library of Chicago; St. Louis dance leader John Ramsay found it in Leland Tichnor’s George Washington’s Birthday Balls, 1990, and taught it to the Dance Discovery performing group who dance it in this video.Caller Colin Hume discusses the dance here, and comments:…

Social Dancing in Early Minnesota

Scholarly yet accessible article, with illustrations, published in Minnesota History magazine, providing a detailed look at social dance in Minnesota in mid-nineteenth century. Also available online. Some excerpts: "Early in the century, quadrilles had used more complicated steps and patterns such as pigeon-winging—a showy maneuver involving,…

Nouvelle Anglaise, French cotillion

This dance is Nouvelle Anglaise, a French cotillion by de la Cuisse and notated by Feuillet, published in Repertoire de Bals, Paris, 1762. The music is Sur L'Air du Tambourin de Daquin.The 18th century French Cotillions are the ancestors of 19th century, 20th century and 21st century square dances.Here is another dance from the same publication.

Les Quatre Berceaux - related documents

This item gathers together various documents related to the videotaped performance of the dance, Les Quatre Berceaux:• Instructions, as interpreted and explained by John Ramsay with assistance from Mark Rice• Chart constructed by Mark Rice to assist the group as they attempted to re-create the dance• Article sent by Dance Discovery…

Quadrille Mania - website

An overview of the history of the quadrille.

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…

Quadrille and Cotillion - history

Part of a history of English country dancing in America, this segment looks at the quadrille and the cotillion.

Caution: The author is mistaken when he asserts, "The French had imported the English country dance about the end of the 17th century and apparently took a special liking to the square formation which occurred in some dances." While…

An Invitation To Dance: A History of Social Dance in America

This online exhibit on the history of social dance in America draws on documents in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society to offer a multi-faceted portrait of the changing nature of American social dance. Items in the exhibit include the cotillion, the quadrille, and other related square dance forms.

La Nouvelle Carel, French cotillion 1762

Cotillion, La Nouvelle Carel, Le Repertoires de Bals, de la Cuisse, Paris, 1762Here is another dance from the same collection, performed by a different group.

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…

Do Squares Come from Quadrilles?

This item starts with a 1957 article by Rod La Farge that takes a strong stand: "the assumption that our present day square dance is derived from the formal quadrille is completely false." Instead, he argues, "the square dance is a DIRECT descendent of the 18th Century Cotillion."

Several issues later, the magazine printed numerous responses…

"Social Dancing in America" - Rod LaFarge

This lengthy history of social dance was written by Rod LaFarge and appeared over three years in American Squares magazine. LaFarge begins with a short look at English country dance, moves to dancing in colonial America, both English-influenced and French, such as the cotillion. He considers the national origins of the American settlers, pointing…

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.

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.

La Strasbourgoise Cotillion -Regency era

Demonstration of a period cotillion at a Napoleonic Ball

Marlbrouk Cotillion

This dance turns up in the Revolutionary War years of the United States. Here it's danced by a group of students from Brigham Young University. Note the bouncy rigadoon step, which originated in French dance of the 17th century. The tune is known by generations of young children as "The Bear Went Over the Mountain."This video clip is part of the…