F is for Farandole

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

Mirth and Gladness Lead a Dance from Roman of the Rose

Mirth and Gladness
Lead a Dance from Roman of the Rose

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!

This entry was posted in Alphabet Post, On Works in Progress, Promotion, What I'm Reading and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to F is for Farandole

  1. Sharon Cullen says:

    I always learn something new in your posts, Jenna. This was very interesting. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Is that pronounced “fare en doll” “fare en dole” or “fare en do lay”? Considering it’s potential origins, I would think it could have more than one pronunciation. Yes, leave it to me to have a goofy question. Great post, Jenna. I’m really enjoying this series of articles.


    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      I checked and according to Dictionary.com it’s “fare en dole.” LOL I’ve always wanted to use that function on that site. 🙂 Not goofy at all, Patricia. It could still be any of them, I bet. Come by with your questions anytime, Trish. So glad you’re enjoying the posts. Me too. 🙂


  3. D'Ann says:

    That sounds beautiful!


  4. karyrader says:

    “F” is for ferris wheel and fudge and a bad 4-letter word my kids aren’t allowed to say anymore (Fart). LOL Thanks for the “f”ing post, Jenna. And the Farandole dance is fabulous.


  5. Oh, Jenna, you little tease!! I love medieval dances. I actually love ballroom. Pretty much any kind of dance. Have no rhythm, but watching is fun!


  6. I’d never heard of this dance. Thank you, Jenna. I tweeted.


  7. Sue says:

    those old dances were lovely – we’re up to N on the challenge


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