I could not get this post up last Friday, so I thought I would send it out now, timely as it is. 🙂
F is for farandole, a very lively dance performed during the middle ages. It is said to be a dance of Provence and Languedoc, France, though one source traces it back to a dance from ancient Greece called the Grecian Crane or “windings of the labyrinth.” According to the Online Encyclopedia Britannica, the farandole “was mentioned as early as the 14th century and, according to tradition, was taken to Marseille from Greece by Phoenician sailors.”
“Winding” is a great descriptor of this dance. Men and women held hands, creating a chain, and followed the leader’s steps as they wound throughout the town. People ran, skipped
and walked down the streets of a town. At some point, the people at the ends would grasp hands, creating a circle. Or a couple might hold hands and create a bridge. Then all the others would skip under the arch.
Some sources state that the farandole is a later dance, dating from the Renaissance, when the first written references to it occur. However, paintings of medieval dancers denote this very chain dance. It is likely that the dance itself may have existed, although the formal name was not written down at the time.
At any rate, I wanted a lively dance in Betrothal for Alyse when she has her first dance with…
But that would be telling, now wouldn’t it? 🙂 Betrothal releases on Friday, April 19!