I can confirm this from personal experience. I lived in Switzerland for about 10 years,
and besides calling there, was active in both the “international” dance community and the
Swiss dance community.
The latter group puts on a huge New Years Eve dance in Zurich every year. At midnight,
they dance the ”Francaise” and for several weeks beforehand, all the groups practice the
Francaise in preparation.
When I was taught the Francaise, I was astonished that a dance with a French-sounding name
consisted mostly of figures that are recognizable from square/ contra. I later learned
that the dance form was brought back from England by the French and called “Contredanse
anglaise”. The rest or Europe apparently thought it came from France and called it
“Contredanse Francaise” instead.
These dances were all the rage in the 19th century, and the music we danced to in
Switzerland was Die Fledermaus Quadrille, by Strauss. (It is breathtaking, by the way, to
see several hundred dancers moving in unison to that music!)
It is as Jim describes, a long line arranged as for a Becket formation, but without
progression. I wondered about the term “Quadrille” and decided it could only refer to the
4 people who make up what we would call the minor set.
Someone mentioned the styling of a courtesy turn. Describing it as a one-handed turn is
technically correct but inadequate. In fact, it is basically the same as an American
courtesy turn, but without the gentleman placing his arm around the lady’s waist. The
danders are side by side, with her hand (palm down) in his hand (palm up) and with no
other contact. It takes a little dancerly attention to stay in the proper relative
position as the turn takes place... a little like the “unassisted” version of a right and
left through in New England.
Interestingly, the term for a right and left through in the Francaise is a Chaine
Anglaise, an “English Chain.”
Sent from my iPad
> On Feb 24, 2020, at 3:07 PM, jim saxe via Contra Callers
> In a message sent on Feb. 21, I described "quadrilles" danced in Vienna
with dancers in formations that looked like Becket contra lines but that actually
consisted of two-couple sets dancing independently (except for occasional opportunities
for eye contact when advancing and retiring on a diagonal), and I wrote:
>> ... I'd guess that the change to a Becket-like formation was intended to
reduce the amount of inactivity, to make more efficient use of floor space, or both. It
might also reduce the total duration of the figures. I have no idea whether the change in
formation is a recent innovation or whether it goes back many decades, perhaps even into
the 19th century.
> I now see that the "History" section of the Wikipedia article on
"Quadrille" begins as follows:
> The term quadrille originated in 17th-century military parades
> in which four mounted horsemen executed square formations. The
> word probably derived from the Italian quadriglia (diminutive
> of quadra, hence a small square).
> The dance was introduced in France around 1760: originally it
> was a form of cotillion in which only two couples were used, but
> two more couples were eventually added to form the sides of a
> square. ...
> If the opening sentences of that second paragraph are accurate, then the two-couple
version of the quadrille (in which the two-couple sets might tend to line up alongside
each other, giving the appearance of what we'd now call a Becket contra line) dates
back to the 18th century and is actually older than the version in a four-couple square.
> Unfortunately, the article doesn't offer sufficient specific citations or
quotations of sources supporting specific claims for me judge how reliable it is.
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