Dance to Dante and Beatrice
Dance The Spanish danza was a grave and stately court dance. Those of the seventeenth century
were called the Turdion, Pabana, Madama Orleans, Piedelgiba'o, El Rey Don Alonzo, and El Caballero.
Most of the names are taken from the ballad-music to which they were danced.
The light dances were
called Baylë (q.v.).
Dance (Pyrrhic). (See Pyrrhic ).
St. Vitus's Dance. (See Vitus).
Dance of Death A series of woodcuts, said to be by Hans Holbein (1538), representing Death dancing
after all sorts of persons, beginning with Adam and Eve. He is beside the judge on his bench, the priest
in the pulpit, the nun in her cell, the doctor in his study, the bride and the beggar, the king and the infant; but
is "swallowed up at last."
This is often called the Dance Macabre, from a German who wrote verses
on the subject.
On the north side of Old St. Paul's was a cloister, on the walls of which was painted, at
the cost of John Carpenter, town clerk of London (15th century), a "Dance of Death," or "Death leading
all the estate, with speeches of Death, and answers, by John Lydgate" (Stow). The Death-Dance in
the Dominican Convent of Basle was retouched by Holbein.
I'll lead you a pretty dance,
i.e. I'll bother or put you to trouble. The French say, Donner le bal à quelqu'un. The reference is to the
complicated dances of former times, when all followed the leader.
To dance attendance. To wait obsequiously,
to be at the beck and call of another. The allusion is to the ancient custom of weddings, where the bride
on the wedding-night had to dance with every guest, and play the amiable, though greatly annoyed.
"Then must the poore bryde kepe foote with a dauncer, and refuse none, how scabbed, foule, droncken,
rude, and shameless soever he be." - Christen: State of Matrimony, 1543.
"I had thought To dance upon nothing. To be hanged.
They had parted so much honestly among them
(At least, good manners) as not thus to
A man of his place, and so near our favour,
To dance attendance on their lordships' pleasures."
VIII., v. 2.
Dances (National Dances):
Bohemian: the redowa. English: the hornpipe and lancers. French: the contredanse
(country dance), cotillon, and quadrille. German: the gallopade and waltz. Irish: the jig. Neapolitan: the
tarantella. Polish: the mazurka and krakovieck, Russian: the cossac. Scotch: the reel. Spanish: the
bolero and fandango.
When Handel was asked to point out the peculiar taste of the different nations
of Europe in dancing, he ascribed the minuet to the French, the saraband to the Spaniard, the arietta
to the Italian, and the hornpipe and the morris-dance to the English.
Dances (Religious Dances):
Astronomical dances, invented by the Egyptians, designed (like our orreries)
to represent the movements of the heavenly bodies.
The Bacchic' dances were of three sorts: grave (like
our minuet), gay (like our gavotte), and mixed (like our minuet and gavotte combined).
The dance Champètre,
invented by Pan, quick and lively. The dancers (in the open air) wore wreaths of oak and garlands of
Children's dances, in Lacedemonia, in honour of Diana. The children were nude; and their movements
were grave, modest, and graceful.
Corybantic dances, in honour of Bacchus, accompanied with timbrels,
fifes, flutes, and a tumultuous noise produced by the clashing of swords and spears against brazen bucklers.
dances, in Athens, slow, solemn dances in which the priests took part. The performers wore long white
robes, and carried cypress slips in their hands.
Hymeneal dances were lively and joyous. The dancers
being crowned with flowers.
Of the Lapithæ, invented by Pirithöus. These were exhibited after some famous
victory, and were designed to imitate the combats of the Centaurs and Lapithæ. These dances were both
difficult and dangerous.
May-day dances at Rome. At daybreak lads and lasses went out to gather "May" and
other flowers for themselves and their elders; and the day was spent in dances and festivities.
dances. The oldest of all dances, executed with swords, javelins, and bucklers. Said to be invented
by Minerva to celebrate the victory of the gods over the Titans.
Nuptial dances. A Roman pantomimic
performance resembling the dances of our harlequin and columbine.
Sacred dances (among the Jews).
David danced in certain religious processions (2 Sam. vi. 14). The people sang and danced before
the golden calf (Exod. xxxii. 19). And in the book of Psalms (cl. 4) we read, "Let [the people] praise
[the Lord] with timbrel and dance. Miriam, the sister of Moses, after the passage of the Red Sea, was
followed by all the women with timbrels and dances (Exod. xv. 20).
Salic dances, instituted by Numa