Nouvelle librairie de la danse

La contredanse, un tournant dans l’histoire de la danse française

Foreword by Yves Guilcher

Contradance shed a new light on the perception of dance from the Middle Ages to modern times. Jean-Michel Guilcher tells its story in this book. He shows how, by combining styles imported from England in the 20th century with a French heritage (Branle, French Noble style dance, etc.), the court of Versailles created the French contradance following a square pattern. He mentions its increasing trend, followed by its outstanding success in courts and cities of Europe. He highlights transformations that affected dance as it spread and shows how they reflected the expectations of successive periods and distinctive milieus, up to the point where they altered farming practices in the 19th century. The author shows us how the study of recreational dance can enrich the study of social mindsets.

Almost 40 years after its first publication in 1969, this book, reviewed and improved in its current version, seems more topical than ever. Its erudition, his well-reasoned, convincing argument, clear writing, attached to practical concerns, and the rich bibliography that it provides make it a reference work. Out-of-stock, it could not be found for many years.