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Type of social dance for couples, popular in the 17th century. Derived from English folk dance, the country dance is performed in one of three forms: circular or round; longways, with rows of couples facing each other; and geometric, in squares or triangles. The main source of country-dance steps and songs is John Playford's The English Dancing Master (1650). The dance was the basis for the 19th-century quadrille. It was taken by colonists to North America as the Virginia reel and, in modified form, as the square dance. There was a modest revival in the 20th century.
Variants of COUNTRY DANCE
country dance or contredanse
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on country dance, visit Britannica.com.
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