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an English folk dance that developed in the 17th and 18th centuries. It later became popular in other European countries as a ball dance and was replaced in the 19th century by the quadrille.

The contredanse originally had one figure and then five or six; it is written in 2/4 or 6/8 time. John Playford was the first to write arrangements of the contredanse in the dance collection English Dancing Master (1651). As a musical form, the contredanse was used by such composers as Mozart, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky.

References in periodicals archive ?
Brooklyn Contra, like most contra dance organizations in the US today, enjoys the benefits of membership, as an affiliate of CDSS.
Sassafras Stomp, from Maine by way of Montana, features fiddler Johanna Davis and guitarist Adam Nordell playing folk music with a dynamic contra dance sound.
Goldman recently danced his way around the United States, finding contra dances to attend in at least a dozen cities as he traveled.
Contra dance and dinner, with home-cooked food, live music, chili dinner served from 6-7 p.
She knew I played the fiddle (with the Aman Folk Ensemble and the Turtle Creek Contra Dance Band) and asked if I knew Lewis and Clark had a fiddle player.
Eugene Folklore Society - Contra dance with music by Atlantic Crossing; caller Woody Lane, 7 p.
Her English country dance band, Midnight Smorgasbord, has since branched into contra dances under the name "contraption," and the ever-versatile Erin has learned to rock out on tuba and to impersonate a fiddler on trumpet.
In 2008, contra dances, local musicians, movies and networking sessions were held in the evening hours.
The popularity of dances done by individuals in a group setting or line configuration has persisted over the centuries--from early American country and English contra dances to the Stroll of the '50s, the Bunny Hop and Alley Cat of the '60s and '70s, and the Macarena and Cha Cha Slide of the '90s--and are still being done by adults and kids at today's parties and school dances.
They included quadrilles (squares), contra dances (using many of the same figures as square dance, but danced by couples in two facing lines -- for example, the Virginia reel), and round dances like the varsovienne, the waltz, and the polka.
The Onlies have developed a strong fan base on the West Coast, performing concerts, square and contra dances and pub gigs from Port Townsend, Wash.

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