The Art of Dancing
A lesson from The Art of Dancing, Historically Illustrated. To which is added a few Hints on Etiquette; Also, The Figures, Music, and Necessary Instruction for the performance of the most modern and approved dances, as executed at the Private Academies of the Author by Edward Ferrero. New York: Dick & Fitzgerald, 1859.
The Art of Dancing|
THE Quadrille is one of the oldest dances that retains its position in the ball
It was formerly the custom, when the leader of the band cried "forward two," for a gentleman and the opposite lady to advance alone, instead of being accompanied by their several partners, while the "balance" was performed, not as now, by the gentleman dancing across with his partner, but at her, she returning the compliment, and both executing a variety of steps which were excessively awkward and ungraceful.
As we have already hinted, in our history of the dance, the quadrille of former times was adopted as a medium for the display of agility, and the indulgence of violent exercise; as, however, the art of dancing, considered with reference to the execution of difficult steps, vaults and pirouettes, required a long and tedious pupilage, combined with perfect gracefulness of bearing, if not symmetry of form, and could be attained only by years of devoted study and unwearied zeal, it was but natural that few succeeded in not making themselves ridiculous, and that it needed revision and alteration to render it acceptable.
Consequently the quadrille now in use, in which performers walk or slide gracefully through the dance, may be executed without any special knowledge of the art of dancing, a familiarity with the figures being all that is essential.
The quadrille commends itself to the lovers of dancing, for various reasons. It admits of the display of great taste in the presentation of the hands, and gracefulness in the walk ; it is a happy relief from the more fatiguing polka, redowa, and similar dances ; and it allows those who are not familiar with them, to share in the pleasure of the dance, from which they might otherwise be debarred. It affords, too, an opportunity for pleasant conversation and the interchange of civilities, which could not perhaps be otherwise obtained.
There are infinite varieties of quadrilles, having, their origin in those which, we have given, but the quadrille in any form is not so generally esteemed by the young in our country, the majority preferring more rapid dances, which better accord with the spirit of the age.
FORMATION OF THE QUADRILLE.
BEFORE giving a description of the figures, we place before the reader the following diagram, which will serve to show the position of the dancers, and the number of each couple
As will be seen by the diagram, the gentleman invariably stands on the left of the lady.
Before commencing a quadrille, designate the first couple; then you have an established rule for the others.
Opposite the first is the second; on the right of the first is the third; and on the left the fourth couple.
Previous to each figure there are eight bars of music to be played, during which performance it is customary for the gentleman to bow, first to his partner, and then to the lady on his left, the lady, at the same time, curtsying to her partner, and afterward to the gentleman on her right.
FIRST FIGURE--Le Pantalon.
Right and left. 8 bars.
The first and the second couple cross over, passing each other; they present the right band; each gentleman, after giving the right hand to the opposite lady, gives his left to his partner and makes a half turn, remaining opposite; repeat the same to regain places.
Balance. 8 bars.
Face your partner, giving the right hand, slide eight steps across the quadrille and back, passing to the right of each other, and returning on the same side.
Ladies' chain. 8 bars.
The two ladies change places by giving the right hand to each other, and crossing over to give their left to the gentlemen opposite; then turning round, return in the same manner, to regain partners.
Half promenade. 8 bars.
Face your partners, and cross hands; slide eight steps across and back, passing on the right.
This figure is repeated by the third and fourth couples.
Forward two. 16 bars.
The first and the second couple forward and back; the same couples cross over and change places; the gentleman on the left of his lady (in crossing over, the ladies pass between the two gentlemen); chassez to the right, then left; cross back as before to regain places.
Balance, as in first figure. 8 bars.
This figure is danced twice by the first and second couples, and twice by third and fourth couples.
THIRD FIGURE--La Poule.
Right hand across. 8 bars
The first and the second couple cross over (ladies passing through the centre, gentlemen outside), each one present presenting the right hand to the person opposite; returning, give the left band, passing through, retaining the same, the ladies turning so as to give the right hand to their partners; the ladies have their hands crossed, the gentlemen do not.
Balance in this position by taking one step forward and back twice. 4 bars
Half promenade, as in first figure, remaining opposite to places, passing to the right of each other. 4 bars.
Ladies forward and back; then gentlemen forward and back. 8 bars.
Forward four. 8 bars.
The two couples, with hands joined, forward and back.
Half right and left to places. 4 bars.
This figure is danced twice by first and second couples, and twice by third and fourth couples.
FOURTH FIGURE--La Pastourelle.
Forward four. 8 bars.
The first and the second couple take their partners by the hand, advance and retire, advance again; then the first lady crosses over, joins hands with opposite gentleman; the three retiring (also first gentleman) to their places.
Forward three. 8 bars.
The second gentleman and two ladies forward and back ; forward again, leaving the two ladies with first gentleman.
Forward three. 8 bars.
The first gentleman and two ladies forward and back; forward again, and stop in the centre ; the second gentleman meets the three in the centre, and they join hands in a circle.
Four hands half round. 4 bars
Turn to the left, each couple remaining opposite to places.
Half right and left, 4 bars
to regain places.
Danced twice by the first and the second couple, the second lady crossing over the second time; third and fourth couples the same.
FIFTH FIGURE--Le Finale.
This figure being a combination of the four figures just explained, we will give only the calls.
Ladies' chain. 8 bars
Forward two. 16 bars
All promenade round. 8 bars.
The four couples face their partners, giving the right ban, and sliding (or galop step) to the right, in a circle, until they reach their places; the circle should only occupy the space of the quadrille.
Danced twice by the first and second couple, and the same by the third and fourth couple.
All chassez. 8 bars.
The ladies cross their partners, sliding to the left, passing in front of the gentlemen, eight steps; gentlemen slide to the right, all slide back again, eight steps; all bow and courtesy to partners.
The chassez is always called to terminate a quadrille; after saluting each other, each gentleman offers his right arm to his partner, and conducts her from the quadrille.