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Dances

( Originally Published 1898 )

1. La Course.

Conductor selects two ladies. His partner selects two gentlemen. Form two lines of threes. Forward and back (eight bars) ; forward again (four bars), and each lady take opposite gentleman ; each gentleman take opposite lady, and turn in place (four bars) ; all waltz to seats (sixteen bars.). N.B. — After placing ladies in their seats, gentlemen will immediately return to their own. (The figures repeated by the next couples in rotation.)

2. Les Ronds a, Trois.

Lady selects two gentlemen ; conductor, two ladies ; form two rounds of three, and revolve rapidly (four bars). At the signal, lady passes under arms of two gentlemen, conductor under arms of two ladies, to meet each other ; at the same time the other two gentlemen take the other two ladies (four bars), and all waltz to places (sixteen bars).

3. Les Chaises.

Conductor places a chair in the middle of the room, and seats in it his partner, to whom he presents two gentlemen. The lady dances with one of the gentlemen, while the other seats himself in the chair. Conductor next presents two ladies ; the gentleman dances with one of them, and the other takes the chair. (Continue the figure until all have danced.)

4. La Pyramide.

Conductor designates two (or more) couples, beside himself and partner. Each lady selects another lady, to form a pyramid : —

Each gentleman selects another gentleman, and they join hands in a line (conductor leading). The line of gentlemen winds entirely around the first lady, then round the next two, then round the next three (aria- so on if more than six couples are dancing), and repeat by reversing the movement until conductor arrives again in front of first lady, with whom he waltzes, while each of the other gentlemen takes the lady nearest him.

5. Les Petits Bonds.

Half the cotillon begin, if a large one. (If composed of less than twenty couples, all may dance at once.) The ladies place themselves in couples (one couple behind the other, and leaving a space of four feet between each couple) . Gentlemen the same, thus : —

The middle four join hands, and turn (making a complete circle) to the left (four bars). The two ladies pass under the arms of the two gentlemen, and join hands with the next two ; while the two gentlemen join hands with the next two ladies (fon• bars), and so on to the ends of the column. On passing out at each end of the column, the ladies will form a line at one end, and the gentlemen at the other, diametrical to the alignment of the column, thus :

When the column is exhausted, and the two lines formed as above, all forward, and each gentleman takes the lads opposite him to waltz at will, until signal " Return to seats " is given by the conductor.

6. Les Bras enlaces; or, " Charge of the Light Brigade."

Any number of couples begin. Form a grand round. All forward with joined hands to centre (four bars). Ladies join hands, and stop at centre. Gentlemen join hands around the ladies in a larger circle, and nil balance (four bars). Dailies turn to the right, and gentlemen to the left (sixteen bars). Then ladies (keeping their hands joined) pass backward (stooping), while gentlemen advance, and (with hands still joined) pass their arms over tho ladies' heads (taking care to have a lady between each two gentlemen, and " e conversa "). In this position break the circle in two places, and form two lines by going backward. At a signal, gentlemen raise their arms (hands still joined), ladies pass under and advance, gentlemen following. The two lines of ladies pass each other by letting go hands, and keeping straight on to meet the opposite advancing lines of gentlemen, when each gentleman takes the lady immediately in front of him, and all waltz to seats.

7. Les Messires au Genoux.

Form one, two, or more quadrilles, five or six feet distant from each other. Gentlemen all kneel. Four ladies (in each quadrille) give right hands in centre, and turn to the left (complete circle), passing by their partners on arriving again at places, and give left hands to left hands of the gentlemen on the left of their partners ; pass once around these gentlemen (who retain the ladies' hands while making the turn), join right hands in centre again, moulinet to the left as before, pass the gentlemen just turned, and give left hands to next left-hand gentlemen, and so on to next, and then to partners, when all the gentlemen rise, and all waltz to plaees.

8. Grande Maine.

Several couples begin. Ladies select gentlemen, gentlemen seleet ladies. Form a grand round, and give left hands to partners. Right and left around (as in fifth figure of Lancers), at a given signal swing half round with right hands, and go in the contrary direction ; at next signal, arrive half round with left hands, and right and left again as at first. Keep up the changes at each signal, until signal " Return to places " is given.

9. La Hungarienne.

(Only to Polka or Mazurka time.)

Form quadrilles. Head couples right and left, with right-hand side couples (eight bars). Half ladies chain with same couples (thus changing partners) , and balance (in waltz position) in place (eight bars). All polka once round (eight bars). Repeat with left-hand couples, and all polka again (twenty-four bars) . Repeat with right-hand couples ; all polka again (twenty-four bars). Repeat with left-hand couples, and all polka again (twenty-four bars) . All polka to seats.

10. Id' bode et la Genie.

Four conples begin. Ladies select gentlemen, gentlemen select ladies. Form two lines facing, four couples in each line. Four middle ladies give right hands across, make a moulinet to the left ; then give left hands across, and moulinet to the right. The gentlemen all join hands in a circle around these four ladies. The remaining four ladies advance, and give left hands to right hands of the four ladies in the moulinet, thus forming a star (the ladies) and a circle (the gentlemen) . The gentlemen now pass round under the arms of the ladies, and the ladies pass in a contrary direction until the signal is given, when all take partners and waltz to places. (It is sometimes better for the gentlemen to form the star, and the ladies the circle. " Toilette," of conrse, must govern the matter, as occasionally the ladies find it difficult to raise their hands high enongh for the gentlemen to pass under.)

11. Flag Figure.

Ten pairs of flags, two of a kind, such as two American, two English, two French, &c. Conductor presents one of each pair to a lady, and the other to a gentleman. The gentlemen then search for the corresponding flags, and dance with the ladies in whose hands they find them. At the signal each lady presents her flag to another gentleman, and each gentleman presents his to another lady. Again the gentlemen search for the corresponding flags,

12. Les Militaires.

Same distribution of flags as in previons figure ; then form four lines, with an officer in front of each, thus : —

In this form march around the room twice (to march mnsic). Second time half wheel to the right and left, and form two lines facing ; ladies line one side, gentlemen the other ; all forward, select corresponding flags, and waltz or polka to seats.

13. La Trompeuse.

The leading lady selects six other ladies, and form a line. Conductor selects seven gentlemen, and form a line facing the ladies. The line of gentlemen join hands, and the conductor leads them in review along the front of the ladies' line ; then behind the line of ladies, changing so as to bring the gentlemen back to back with the ladies. At the signal the conductor turns quickly, and chooses a lady ; the other gentlemen do the same. There will be one gentleman (the " victim ") without a partner. Ile must return to his seat nnless some compassionate lady in the circle will volunteer to dance with him.

14. La Serpent.

Conductor leaves his partner at one end of the room. He selects several other ladies, and places them behind his partner, in line, and with three-feet spaces between them. He next chooses an equal number of gentlemen, who join hands en chain. The Conductor leads this line of gentlemen through the line of ladies from front to rear and back again, passing " zigzag " through the line. On arriving again at the head of the line, make signal, and each gentleman dances with the lady in front of whom he finds himself.

15. Le Changement des Dames.

Two (or four, &c.) couples begin. After waltzing around the room, each two couples approach, and change partners without losing step or time. After waltzing around again, change partners again, and waltz to seats.

16. Les Bouquets.

As many small bouquets as there are dancers in the cotillon. Conductor and his lady each choose a bouquet ; and, after waltzing once around, the lady presents hers to another gentleman, and the conductor his to another lady. Repeated until all have been presented with bouquets.

17. La Phalange.

Two couples begin. Each lady selects two gentlemen, and each gentleman two ladies. Form a phalanx as follows : —

The lady in the first line gives her right hand to the left hand of the left-hand gentleman, and her left hand to the right hand of the right-hand gentleman these gentlemen join their disengaged hands behind the lady, and hold them up over her head (this forms a group or figure known as " the graces ") ; the second, third, and fourth lines make the same movement. All dance in this form (the groups keeping close one after the other) once around the room ; then the first and third lines about-face, and dance with opposites to places.

18. Les Croix Double.

Four couples begin. Form a cross, the gentlemen giving left hands at centre, holding their partners by the right. Each gentleman then calls a lady, and each lady calls a gentleman, who join the four points of the cross (thus doubling the eross). Four more couples take places in the spaces between the points, and waltz while the cross revolves in pivot. At signal take partners, as placed, and waltz to seats.

19. Le Grande fond.

Four couples begin. Each lady chooses a lady, and. each gentleman chooses a gentleman. Form a circle, gentlemen on one side, ladies on the other ; join hands. Conductor leads through the middle (all still holding hands), and passes with his partner through the opposite point in the circle, under the arms of the lady and gentleman. Here the conductor lets go his partner's hand (the others still holding fast), and turns to the left ; his partner turns to the right. After describing each a semicircle, they meet, and, breaking off from the circle, waltz to seats. The next gentleman and lady the same, and so on until the circle is exhausted.

20. Les Cercles Jumeaux.

Four couples begin. Ladies choose ladies, gentlemen choose gentlemen. Form two rounds, one of the ladies and the other of the gentlemen. The conductor remains in the centre of the round of ladies, and his partner in the round of gentlemen. Both rounds revolve rapidly to the left. At the signal, conductor chooses a lady from the round of ladies, his partner a gentleman from the round of gentlemen ; the two rounds break, and form two lines facing. Two lines advance, select opposites, and all waltz to seats.

21. La Chasse aux Mouchoirs.

Four ladies form square in centre of room, each holding a handkerchief in her hand. All the gentlemen form a circle round the four ladies, with their backs turned inward. Ladies toss their handkerchiefs in the air, and dance with the gentlemen who catch them. (Costly lace handkerchiefs are not quite appropriate for this figure.)

22. Le Berceau.

Four couples begin ; form a circle with joined hands ; turn backs to partners without letting go hands. Four more couples form a circle around these. The gentlemen all join hands above, and the ladies beneath. Gentlemen raise their arms high enough for the ladies to pass around under them. Ladies pass around to the left. At the signal, gentlemen lower their arms, and waltz each with the lady next to his right arm.

23. La Pursuite.

Any number of couples begin. One or two or more gentlemen without partners go among the dancers, and, by clapping hands, take partners from any of the other gentlemen. When this signal is made, the gentleman dancing mnst immediately release his partner to the pursuer, and seek another by clapping his hands at the nearest couple.

This is one of the final fignres of the cotillon, and one of the most enjoyable when conducted properly. The odd gentlemen, however, are apt to display conspicuous preferences for certain ladies ; and by dashing about in search of them, or standing idle waiting for them to pass by, they delay the dance, create a eoolness and monotony among the dancers, and in a word evince a want of eonsideration, not at all courteous or well-bred.

24. Le Palanquin.

Take a large shawl. Four couples begin ; one couple at eaeh corner of the shawl. The gentlemen of these couples hold the shawl up by the eorners, with left hands, taking care to keep it well above their heads, and always evenly spread. The four couples then waltz around the room, keeping equal time and distance, while a fifth couple comes under the canopy, and waltzes around with it, always keeping central so as not to come in contact with the bearers.

(This is one of the most difficult figures in the German. To execute it well, the very best dancers are required ; and conductors should not attempt it unless certain of the ability of their dancers to execute it.)

25. La Kangaroo.

Three chairs side by side, in middle of room. Conductor seats his partner, who must have a fan, in the middle chair. He then presents to her two gentlemen, who seat themselves in the other two chairs. The lady gives the fan to one of these gentlemen, and dances with the other. The gentleman to whom the fan is given mnst follow the dancing couple, and fan them, while hopping on one foot.

(Perhaps this fignre is better adapted to parlor-G ermans than to those of the ball-room, although no just reason can be assigned for the difference. The figure is intended to create a hearty laugh at the expense of one gentleman at a time ; and he who submits to this innocent and temporary sacrifice of his " amour-propre," with the least display of affected or genuine ill-humor, will generally be found the best-bred man in the company.)

26. Les Zigzags.

Any number of couples begin. Place themselves behind each other, with three feet of space between each couple ; all facing one way, and keeping close to partners. The first couple sets out and waltzes " zigzag " through this column, followed by each couple in turn until all are waltzing, then return to scats.

27. L'Allee Tournante.

Any number of couples begin. Form circle. Gentlemen swing their partners around, facing them toward the centre, leaving space of three feet between. This forms a double round, ladies within and gentlemen without. Conductor and partner waltz around through this " winding alley," followed by each couple in turn, and all return to seats.

28. Le Carnaval.

[To be danced with paper costumes, made by the members of the " German," or they can be purchased in sets of thirty or forty pairs by ordering them from parties who usually deal in such articles.]

The ladies all join hands, facing outward. The conductor forms a circle with all the gentlemen in another part of the room, facing outward. The condnctor takes a package of the " favors," and presents it to a lady in the ladies' circle, while his partner presents one to a gentleman in the gentleman's circle. The packages being broken, each conple enters its circle, the conductor and his partner in the ladies' circle, and his lady and her partner in the gentleman's circle. Here the costumes (or whatever may be found in the packages) are put on, and each couple quits the circle to return to their seats. The next lady and gentleman repeat, and so on until all have obtained costumes or favors, and returned to seats. After this the condnctor may introduce a number of short general figures, during the execution of which he may occasionally form gronps, " en tableaux vivants," with his dancers, taking care to suggest snch scenes and attitudes as will be consistent with the costuming, &c.

29. Le Rona Final.

All the cotillon form circle with joined hands. Conductor and partner enter the circle, and waltz once around. Conductor then passes out of the circle backward nnder the arms of the dancers. His partner selects another gentleman from the circle. They waltz once around, when the lady passes out backward to join her own partner, who must be waiting for her on the outside to condnct her to her seat, or continue to dance at will. This figure is kept up until the circle is exhausted.

This is one of the final figures.

The foregoing twenty-nine fignres of the German have been selected from the whole cotillon, and introduced as a basis of the dance. A gentleman, being a proficient dancer, and having memorized this number of fignres, will never find any difficulty in leading a German satisfactorily at a ball or private assembly.

In compiling them, I have consulted the works of Professors Dodworth, Ferrers, and De Walden, and have inserted several of my own invention, which latter number I ean only claim as offsprings of the former and as the results of a desire to have a share in the originality of professional competition.

Should my patrons and pupils at any time desire the benefit of my professional experience. in the arrangement of their programmes, or selection of music and musicians for their social re-unions, it will always afford me great pleasure to respond to their wishes to the extent of my ability.

Dancing At Home And Abroad:
Dress

The Glide, Or Dodworth's Boston

The German, Or Cotillon

Dances

Conclusion

Read More Articles About: Dancing At Home And Abroad

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