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Quadrille

From Academic Kids

A quadrille (quadrille de contre danse) is a lively dance which involves four couples arranged in the shape of a square with each couple facing the center of the square. One pair of facing couples is called the head couples, and the other pair is called the side couples. A dance figure will often be performed first by the head couples and then repeated by the side couples.

The original French version used only two couples, but two more were eventually added to form the sides of the square; the sides and corners of the squares took turns performing the dance while the others rested.

The term quadrille was originally a four person card game, but came to refer to the dance by about 1740. The dance itself is likely related to the cotillions, and was introduced to France in about 1760, then to England in 1808. A woman named Miss Berry introduced the quadrille to England, beginning with the duke of Devonshire. It was popular among the elites by 1813, and was further refined in the next three years, eventually becoming a staple dance of the upper classes.

As the quadrille grew in popularity during the early 19th century, it evolved into forms that used elements of the waltz, including Caledonians and Lancers.

Terms used in the quadrille are mostly the same as those in ballet, such as jeté, Chassé croisé, plié and arabesque

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