Shaping Europe's First Dance Craze - The Role of Napoleon's Grande Armée in the Dissemination of the Quadrille (1795-1815): Case Studies in Cultural Mobility from the Southern Netherlands

TitleShaping Europe's First Dance Craze - The Role of Napoleon's Grande Armée in the Dissemination of the Quadrille (1795-1815): Case Studies in Cultural Mobility from the Southern Netherlands
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsVanistendael, Cornelis
JournalDance Research
Volume36
Issue1
Start Page91
Pagination91-111
Date Published05/2018
Abstract

The first 15 years of the nineteenth century in Europe witnessed the unusually speedy dissemination of a new dance, the quadrille, over a vast territory, even though the Napoleonic wars had disrupted the functioning of institutions, publishing, and networks of patronage. This article proposes an alternative explanation for the rapid rise of the quadrille by exploring the aspects of the military culture of Napoleon's army to account for the veritable dance 'craze' associated with the quadrille. During winter campaigns, French forces organized dance lessons on a massive scale and encouraged peer-to-peer tutoring, and the organisation of Napoleon's army allowed the formation of networks that were unaffected by the social constraints acting on appropriation processes in civil society.

URL10.3366/drs.2018.0222
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