To me, the word "quadrille" would usually suggest either Tony's definition 1
or his definition 3.
Reading Tony's definition 4 reminds me that I have occasionally noticed the word
"quadrille" in titles of tunes in 6/8 meter. Looking in the book _Advanced
Square Dance Figures of the West and Southwest_ by Lee Owens and Viola Ruth (1950), I
notice that the tunes therein include "Blackberry Quadrille,"
"Blacksmith's Quadrille," "Bony Smith's Quadrille," and
"Ruth's Quadrille," all in 6/8. Also included, however, is a tune titled
"Canyon Quadrille," which is in 2/4 (but with a lot of dotted notes).
I was unaware of the usage given in Tony's definition 2: "... a set of (usually
three) squares done with the same partner." Having read it, I can see how the term
formerly used for those 19th-century dances in five or six figures (with the same partner,
but with pauses in the the music between figures) could have come to be used for sets of
three squares with the same partner as done in some areas in the mid 20th century.
While looking around on Youtube a few years ago, I came across some videos of
"quadrille" dances in Vienna with couples arranged not in square sets but in
what resemble Becket contra lines. Here's an example:
Note that there is no progression. Each couple dances pretty much exclusively with the
couple across from them, the only interaction with dancers from an adjacent foursome being
an occasional acknowledgment as couples dance forward and back on a diagonal. The figures
are of the sort that might have been danced alternately by head and side couples in a
19th-century quadrille in square formation. 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.
While looking for a video of a quadrille in Vienna to cite in this message, I also
discovered some videos of "quadrilles" as danced in Jamaica, some in square
formation and some not. I won't cite any video in particular; readers who care cane
easily find examples for themselves. I don't think I can offer any better speculation
than anyone else about how these dances might have evolved into what they are now from
whatever sort of "quadrille" or other dance might have preceded them.
Lest digressions obscure my main point, I'll repeat that the notions of
"quadrille" most prominent in my mind are Tony's definitions 1 and 3.
On Feb 21, 2020, at 9:55 AM, Tony Parkes via Contra
Callers <contracallers(a)lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
Here’s my take on it, from the glossary of my forthcoming book _Square Dance Calling: An
Old Art for a New Century_:
Quadrille (1) A formal square dance in five or six figures, introduced in
the early 19th century; the original figures were selected from the cotillion (definition
1), although additional figures were written later. (2) In the Northeast, a term used
until the mid-20th century for a set of (usually three) squares done with the same
partner. (3) A term used by modern square dance callers for a square phrased and prompted
in New England style. (4) In some areas, a fiddle tune in 6/8 meter.