Monday, 10 November 2014

Folk Dances in French

French traditional dancing encompases a huge range of geographically and culturally separate groups. At first glance there is little common ground between the hypnotic circle dances of Brittany, the graceful couple dances of central France and the wild Fandangos of the Basque Country. However, they all form part of the larger group of European Folk dances, all of which have developed from simple circle dances with frequent contacts between the different regions. For a review of the recent history of French traditional music and dance see the excellent.                                            

Music and dance of France has further been enriched through the influences of Africa, Latin America and Asia. The folk tunes of these continents have added the requisite fizz to create the music of France as dynamic because the country itself. Because of so many different inputs, culture of France leaves its mark about the overall cultural scenario of Europe.              

Branle Dance

Branle Dances"16th-century French dance style which moves mainly from side to side, and is performed by couples in either a line or a circle." "According to Arbeau, every ball began with the same four branles: the double branle, the single branle, the gay branle, and the Burgundian branle.

Cotillion Dance

The cotillion is a type of patterned social dance and music culture that originated in France in the 18th century. It was originally made up of four couples in a square formation, the forerunner of the quadrille; in the United States the square dance, where the "figures" are called aloud by the caller, is a form of rural contredanse that also descended from the urban cotillion. Its name, from French cotillon, "petticoat", reflected the flash of petticoats as the changing partners turned.

Polonaise Dance

A dance of Polish origin. The polonaise had a rhythm quite close to that of the Swedish semiquaver or sixteenth-note polska, and the two dances have a common origin.Polonaise is a widespread dance in carnival parties. Polonaise is always a first dance at a studniĆ³wka ("hundred-days"), the Polish equivalent of the senior prom that occurs approximately 100 days before exams.

Sarabande Dance

Originally, a dance considered disreputable in 16th-century Spain, and, later, a slow, stately dance that was popular in France. Possibly of Mexican origin or perhaps evolved from a Spanish dance with Arab influence that was modified in the New World, it was apparently danced by a double line of couples to castanets and lively music." --Encyclopedia Britannica.

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