Dance Articles > Research Topic - Historic Dances in France

Discussion in 'Dance Articles' started by DanceMentor, Mar 27, 2003.

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    13th - 14th Century
    La Saltarelle - came from Italy. Couples raised one leg after the other and clapped their hands faster and faster.
    L'Estompie - To instrumental dance tunes

    15th Century
    La bessedanse - Walking or Gliding Steps as opposed to jumping steps. 3/4 time.
    La Tourdian

    16th - 17th Century
    La Beurree - Old folk dance, perhaps of Spanish origin. Court dance during second half of sixteenth century (Auvergnats gave a demonstration of this dance during a fete in honor of Catherine de Medici) continued into seventeenth century.
    La Courante - Began in the sixteenth century and was very popular undrt Louis XIV. A slow dance in three-quarter time.
    La Gaillarde - Court dance of the Renaissance in three-quarter time. Fell out of style in the seventeenth century.
    La Gaette - Dance which was known at the end of the sixteenth century. Moderate tempo with two beats to the measure. Composed of a combination of two steps and one steps. Couperin, Rameau, Handel.
    La Gigue - Of Irish origin, introducedinto France after the Elizabethan period. Lively dance in 2/4 time. Corelli, Couperin, Handel, Bach.
    La Menuet - Dance in three quarter time; appeared around 1670; danced at the Court of Louis XIV (probably originated in Poitou). Music by Lulli. In the 18th century, its tempo, originally rapid, became moderate. First a solo dance, it was later danced in groups of four.

    17th Century
    La Passacaille - Of Spanish origin, in 3/4 time, with persistent bass; very popular court dance of the 17th century.
    La Pavane - Ceremonial and slow court dance popular throughout Europe during the Renaissance and in France until the 17th century. Of Italian origin (Padua); used in solemn processions and as the opening dance of a ball; two beats to a measure.
    Le Passepied - Lively dance of Breton origin; danced in Paris for the first time in 1587; adopted under reign of Louis XIV.
    La Chaconne - Court dance under Louis XIII.
    La Contredanse - Originated as an English folk dance; couples facing each other (hence its name) or in a circle.
    La Sarabande - Slow dance in 3/2 or 3/4 time of Spanish origin. Introduced at the French court in 1588; Richelieu danced it before Anne of Austria.
    Le Rigauden - Dance in 2/4 or 2/2 time, originated in Provence or Languedoc. Danced in France during the reign of Louis XIII.

    18th Century
    All the dances of the preceding century were still fashionable except for La Pavane which disappeared, Le Menuet which developed a slower rhythm, while the Sarabande, on the other hand, became livlier and gayer. The Contredanse was danced only in the country.
    In addition there were:
    L'Allemande - in 3/4 time; of German origin as its name indicates.
    La Polonaise - Introduced at the beginning of the seventeenth century but especially fashionable in the eighteenth. Moderate tempo in 3/4 time.

    19th Century
    The same as formerly, with the following additions:
    La Valse - from the German "Walzen" which means to turn. It is an old round dance, in 3/4 time, originally slow. The name "valse" dates from the 18th century, but this dance existed in the sixteenth century, when it was condemned as ribald.
    La Mazurka - Came from Poland in the Romatic era. Courtly dance in which the woman chooses her partner. In 3/4 time with stmping of the heels.
    La Polka - Also from Poland. Steady beat; simple alternation of rhythmic steps.
    La Quadrille - Couples in equal numbers executing figures of the old contredanse.
    La Cotillon - Danced in groups of 4 or 8. Usually the final dance at a ball.
    Note: consensus is that Polka was created in 1835 in Czechoslavakia (then Bohemia) near the Polish border by the Czechs.

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