The farandole is an open-chain community
dancepopular in the County of Nice, France. The farandole bears similarities to the gavotte, jig, and tarantella. The carmagnoleof the French Revolutionis a derivative.
Traditionally led by the "
abbat-mage" holding a beribboned halberd, the dancers hold hands and skip at every beat; strong beats on one foot, alternating left and right, with the other foot in the air, and weak beats with both feet together. In the village of Belvédère, on the occasion of the festival honoring patron Saint Blaise, the most recently-married couple leads the dance.
Musically, the dance is in 6/8 time, with a moderate to fast tempo, and played by a
fluteand drum. Georges Bizetincluded a farandole in his "L'Arlésienne" suite.
During his time in the 80's metal band "Talas", Billy Sheehan wrote a solo song called "The Farandole". It includes an electric and bass guitar soloing together with drums keeping up the rhythm.
In Tchaikovsky Sleeping Beauty's ballet there a farandole in the Second Act in the Fourth Scène, where the dames propose a farandole.
Many people use a variety of questionable evidence to argue that the farandole has a history going back to the
Middle Ages. While there are descriptions of line and circle dances, and iconography showing people dancing in lines and circles [http://homepages.tesco.net/~rostibolli/conf2003.html] , there is no reason to assume that medieval dancewas done like the modern folk farandole. Arbeau, the most well-known source for renaissance line and circle dances such as the branle, does not contain any dance with these specific steps and figures.
The Majesty Demos, the first recording by the band
Dream Theater, contains a song called "The Farandole".
* [http://mtcn.free.fr Dances and traditional musics used in the county of Nice (France)]
* [http://www.dance.demon.co.uk/AGC/Articles/Farandole.html A more extensive description of steps]
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