Dignified couple dance derived from a French folk dance, dominant in European court ballrooms in the 17th–18th century. Using small, slow steps to music in time, dancers often performed choreographed figures combined with stylized bows and curtsies. The most popular dance of the 18th-century aristocracy, it fell from favour after the French Revolution in 1789. It was of great importance in art music; commonly incorporated into the suite c. 1650–1775, it was the only dance form retained in the symphony, sonata, string quartet, and other multimovement art-music genres up to c. 1800.
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