Dancers demonstrating Las Cuadrillas circa 1966.

AR.00015.2 MOIFA Curators: Richard Bowen Stark Series

Dancers demonstrating Las Cuadrillas, circa 1966. Photographer may be Mansi Kern. Kern's description of the dance follows.

"Las quadrillas [sic], is comprised of old country steps combined with new ingenious patterns and choreography. Some of the dances, such as El Cutilio, follows (closely) the structure of an American Square Dance, Woven into the familiar square dance framework are novel combinations of steps and design. There used to be a caller for these dances. There are no longer callers,. They are now very old.
"LAS QUADRILLAS A four couple dance.
"Position. Four couples form a set, each couple making one side of a square. The head, or number one couple's back is always to the music. The lady stands to the right of her partner.
"Part I Each figure is performed in perfect time to the music. Introduction. All couples join hands and circle left, then all change direction and circle right.
"Grand Right and Left. Partners face each other and join right hands. Walk past each other giving the left hand to the next, the right to the next, the left to the next, and so forth until you meet your partner - women all walk in one direction clockwise, men all walk counterclockwise.
"Promenade Home. Take your partner, man's right in women's right, left in left, crossed arm position, and walk back to original starting position.
"The Dance. All four couples join hands and circle left, then right.
"Western Do SI Do. First and second couples face each other,
third and fourth couples face. Couples face each other, partners lady on the right. The man will pass his lady from right to left (passing his left hand from his left to his right hand). At the moment of break between his two hands, she passes beyond the opposite lady and the opposite lady passes between him and his own lady. He continues to pass his lady around behind him with his left hand, she
doing a left turn. He does not turn but keeps facing the opposite man. He lets go of his partner’s hand as she moves around behind him. She continues encircling him. As she comes around to his right side, she takes the right hand of the opposite man in her right. The opposite man passes her behind him with his right hand, he releases her as she continues to circle and takes his oncoming partner’s left hand with his left. Take her into ballroom position.
"Swing Partner. Swing once around using fast walking steps.
"Form the Cradle Part of La Cuna. Face partner, Man takes the women’s right hand in his right, and left in left and swings her around behind him to begin the formation of The Cradle. Refer to La Cuna for detailed description of the dance. The head couple follows this entire sequence, with second couple, then the third and the fourth, (This is a typical square dance pattern). The second couple then leads to their right and goes through the entire portion of the main dance with the third
couple, the fourth and the first, couples continue around the square, leading from couple to couple until each have completed the entire cycle. When the fourth couple have completed their turn, everyone swings. Swing your partner once around.
"Grand Right and Left and Promenade Home partner

"Part II. Introduction. All four couples join hands, circle left and circle right.
"Grand Right and Left and Promenade Home.
"The Dance. All four men join in a wheel. Four men walk forward, join their right hands across (opposite men, right hand in right) all walk clockwise. Then change directions and all walk crossing left hands in the center (opposite men, left in left). Men rotate reaching their partners and picking them up with inside elbows hooked (man's right elbow hooked in ladies' left elbow).
"Swing Partner. Swing partner around twice.
"Four ladies form a wheel. Repeat the identical pattern just described.. (All ladies wheel with right hands, turn, wheel with left hands.) Pick up the next man (beyond your own partner) and swing new partner. Repeat,sequence, each time picking up a new partner beyond the one just danced with.
When you reach your own partner, pick him up. Swing, (A typical Square Dance design.) Allemande left. Corners face, join left hands, walk around each other back to your own position.
"Grand Right and Left.
"Promenade. When finished everyone claps their hands (to let the musicians know that the second part has ended.)

"Part III. All four couples join hands and circle left. The man swings (with his left hand) the corner woman's right hand encircling over her head, this brings her right arm in front of her. His hand is resting on her left shoulder holding her right hand. All move to the left, facing left, then all raise arras over their heads, and all turn right. The man repeats the same pattern with his partner. He takes
his ladies left hand in his right and raises it over her head so that her left hand encircles her head crossing in front. The man's right hand is resting on her right shoulder. All circle around the hall.
All Swing partner. Swing about two times. Take partner to her seat. The end of the dance."

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1966 Date created
September 15 2018 Date modified
Curatorial Category

Related person
Bartlett Library and Archives (publisher)