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Items from "Historical squares": 54

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:…

Quadrille (Länger, 1824, №1)

The first figure of a quadrille from 1824; the source document is Christian Länger's book, Terpsichore, Ein Taschenbuch der Neuesten Gesellschaftlichen Tänze, and can be read, in German, here. The 3rd figure, danced by the same group, is also available online. The dancers are members of the Golden Forests group in Russia who have posted…

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…

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.

Windmill Lancers / Windmill Quadrille

Caller Don Armstrong provides the instruction and prompts the figures in this Retrospective Session from the 2000 Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, held at the University of New Hampshire. The Windmill Lancers was part of Ralph Page's repertoire. The tunes are being played by Rodney Miller, fiddle, and Bob McQuillen, piano: J.B. Milne (reel) for the…

Sammy Spring's Quadrille - Don Armstrong

This dance, presented by Don Armstrong at the 1955 Minnesota State Square Dance Convention, comes from the calling of Sammy Spring. Don remarks in his introduction that the dance is similar to one of the figures of the Lancers, and he has this to say about the man from whom he learned the dance:

"We are privileged to have down in Florida one of…

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…

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…

Square Dancing in the 1800s

Fred Feild is a long-time caller and square dance enthusiast; now living in Tucson, he was instrumental in creating the Chicago Barn Dance Company in the mid-1970s. In recent years, he has started looking through historical sources for contemporary accounts of square dancing, and he posts his findings on a Word Press blog. Generous in sharing his…

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Square Dance, Oakland, CA - 1919

This silent newsreel footage from Gaumont News, a French company, shows several sets of dancers doing a quadrille in an outdoor setting.

The brief title before the action reads:
"Choose Your Partners"
To the tune of "Johnny in the Low Ground" and "Turkey in the Straw," the Boys and Girls of '61 Dance the Steps of Their Youthful…

Emergence and Development of the Cotillon

Jean-Michel Guilcher is a pre-eminent scholar of French dance. This is an excerpt from his book, La contredanse: un tournant dans l'histoire française de la danse, translated for the Square Dance History Project by Susan Kevra, a dance caller and professor of French.Some have argued that the four-couple cotillon that emerged in France in the…

The Afro-American Transformation of European Set Dances and Dance Suites

Scholarly article that looks at the way that European set dances such as the quadrille became changed by African Americans. The article looks in detail at the quadrille tradition in the Caribbean islands as well as on the US mainland:"It is well acknowledged that the court dances which developed in Europe from the seventeenth century onward spread…

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.

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…

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…

Independence Lancers

The Lancers is a five-part Quadrille that made its way from 19th century ballrooms to 1985 in southwestern Pennsylvania at the Independence Grange Hall, Independence Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania. Recorded May 11, 1985. The Related Item shows footage from 1983 of that dance in the same location.