Le Carillon de Dunkerque

Le Carillon de Dunkerque is an American Country Dance. It was published by Elias Howe in 1862 in American Dancing Master, Boston. It is a Square dance. It is a multipart dance. The minor set lasts 136 bars.

Howe writes:

Le Carillon de Dunkerque, like the Boulangère, is a French dance of the olden time, and is the merriest and noisiest of all country dances.

The gentlemen select their partners, and place themselves as for the Quadrille.

It is of no consequence if the number of couples is not equal, the more that dance the merrier it is.

The music plays the first eight bars, after which each gentleman takes the place of the gentleman to his right, the ladies, meanwhile retaining their places.

All balance and turn with their new partners, the gentlemen finishing with their faces towards the ladies, and their backs to the centre of the Quadrille.

Then all the ladies and gentlemeen clap their hands three times, and then stamp on the floor three times, and finish by turning round with their new partners. This figure is again begun and repeated until the gentlemen meet with their original partners, after which the ladies perform the figure in the same manner with the gentlemen.

This appears to be based on a dance found in Landrin's 5 Potpourri Francois des Contre-Danse Ancienne published sometime between 1760 and 1780. Landrin writes:

  1. Quatres en avant les 4 faces
  2. chassé Croissé [illegible] rigodon et a vos places
  3. frappé 3 fois des pied apres des main et moulinet en rond et a vos places
  4. Contre partie de tout pour les 4 autres

The animation plays at 120 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance will often be slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily. Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color, however the border of each dancer indicates what role they currently play so the border color may change each time through the minor set.

An online description of the dance may be found here.

Intro1-4Honour your partner
5-8Honour your corner
Men's Figure repeats 4 times
A1-2Men move to right to next man's place
3-4New partners set
5-8Two hand turn (or swing)
B1-2Everyone clap three times
3-4Everyone stamp three times
5-8Two hand turn partners
Women's Figure repeats 4 times
A1-2Women move to left to next woman's place
3-4New partners set
5-8Two hand turn (or swing)
B1-2Everyone clap three times
3-4Everyone stamp three times
5-8Two hand turn partners

If you find what you believe to be a mistake in this animation, please leave a comment on youtube explaining what you believe to be wrong. If I agree with you I shall do my best to fix it.

If you wish to link to this animation please see my comments on the perils of youtube. You may freely link to this page, of course, and that should have no problems, but use one of my redirects when linking to the youtube video itself:

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The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2022 by George W. Williams V and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website is copyright © 2021,2022,2023,2024 by George W. Williams V
Creative Commons License My work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Most of the dances have more restrictive licensing, see my notes on copyright, the individual dance pages should mention when some rights are waived.