The Plain Quadrille ~ 6 Couples is a Quadrille. It was devised by Edward Payne in 1815 and published in First Set of Quadrilles. It was interpreted by Thomas Hillgrove in 1857. It is a 6 Couple Rectangle dance. There is no progression in this dance. The dance lasts 560 bars.
A brief history of the introduction of this quadrille to England may be found at The Regency Dance site.
In this set of dances the heads and the sides do not interact. It as if there were two separate dances going on: First the heads alone do things, and the sides watch and learn, then the sides alone do things and the heads rest. This appears to have been a feature of many early quadrilles, which could be danced with just 2 couples (as opposed to cotillians which required four). Indeed the dance The Sicilian Circle is an improper duple minor dance which consists of the first three figures of the first number followed by progression.
Hillgrove says of this dance:
...which is commonly called a plain Quadrille, and is really the only popular set that has ever been introduced; and is so universally approved that it has never been superseded by any other as a general dance, although it has had many rivals.
Hillgrove does not mention what music to play. One may infer from his directions that there should be 2 counts per bar and 8 bar phrases.
Hillgrove says "In all the following descriptions the words that are printed in Capitals are those called by the musicians, or the director of ceremonies, and should be strictly observed..." I include his calls, but also text to explain them. Several of his calls ("BALANCE" for one) are used with multiple meanings, so I find them confusing.
The figures of the quadrille evolved over time, in particular the "FORWARD TWO" figure originally had only the active lady and her vis-à-vis (opposite) advance, but later their partners were included in the movement. See The Prompter, page 41.
In the right and left, Hillgrove does not specify taking right hands with your opposite, but De Garmo (in The Prompter) does. The turn at the end of the right and left through or the ladies chain is different from the modern courtesy turn. "the entlemen then present their left hand to the left hand of their partners, and turn them half round, and then turn themselves, so that each couple may face the opposite couple."
In the calls I number couples the way modern square dances do, not the way quadrilles used to (as I expect more people are familiar with square dances than quadrilles now).
The animation plays at 120 counts per minute. Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color.
An online description of the dance may be found here.
|Intro||1-4||Honour your partner|
|5-8||Honour your corner|
|Number1||1-8||Heads RIGHT AND LEFT Heads right and left through over and back|
|9-16||Heads BALANCE Heads face partner join both hands and do a couple do-si-do|
|17-24||Heads LADIES CHAIN (over and back)|
|33-40||Sides RIGHT AND LEFT|
|49-56||Sides LADIES CHAIN|
|Number2||1-16||Heads FORWARD TWO Heads join hands with partner, forward and back, pass through and face partner, chassez in and out, pass through|
|25-40||Heads FORWARD TWO|
|49-64||Sides FORWARD TWO|
|73-88||Sides FORWARD TWO|
|Number3||1-8||Heads RIGHT HAND ACROSSs Cross with a right pull-by, cross back with the left|
|9-12||Heads BALANCE the ring|
|13-16||Heads promenade half across the set|
|17-20||Head LADIES FORWARD and back|
|21-24||Head GENTLEMEN FORWARD and back|
|25-28||Heads FORWARD FOUR Heads take partner's hand, go forward and back|
|29-32||Heads half right and left|
|33-40||Heads RIGHT HAND ACROSSs Cross with a right pull-by, cross back with the left|
|41-44||Heads BALANCE the ring|
|45-48||Heads promenade half across the set|
|49-52||Head LADIES FORWARD and back|
|53-56||Head GENTLEMEN FORWARD and back|
|57-60||Heads FORWARD FOUR Heads take partner's hand, go forward and back|
|61-64||Heads half right and left|
|65-72||Sides RIGHT HAND ACROSSs Cross with a right pull-by, cross back with the left|
|73-76||Sides BALANCE the ring|
|77-80||Sides promenade half across the set|
|81-84||Side LADIES FORWARD and back|
|85-88||Side GENTLEMEN FORWARD and back|
|89-92||Sides FORWARD FOUR Sides take partner's hand, go forward and back|
|93-96||Sides half right and left|
|97-104||Sides RIGHT HAND ACROSSs Cross with a right pull-by, cross back with the left|
|105-108||Sides BALANCE the ring|
|109-112||Sides promenade half across the set|
|113-116||Side LADIES FORWARD and back|
|117-120||Side GENTLEMEN FORWARD and back|
|121-124||Sides FORWARD FOUR Sides take partner's hand, go forward and back|
|125-128||Sides half right and left|
|Number4||1-4||Heads FORWARD FOUR Heads take partner's hand forward and back|
|5-8||Forward again, L1 takes hands with opposite gent, all retire|
|9-16||FORWARD THREE G3 and ladies forward and back (G1 standing), forward again, ladies turn, G1 advances, all retire|
|17-20||FORWARD THREE G1 and ladies forward and back|
|21-24||Forward again, ladies turn, take hands four|
|25-28||Circle left half and retire|
|29-32||Half right and left to places|
|33-36||Heads FORWARD FOUR Heads take partner's hand forward and back|
|37-40||Forward again, L3 takes hands with opposite gent, all retire|
|41-48||FORWARD THREE G1 and ladies forward and back (G3 standing), forward again, ladies turn, G3 advances, all retire|
|49-52||FORWARD THREE G3 and ladies forward and back|
|53-56||Forward again, ladies turn, take hands four|
|57-60||Circle left half and retire|
|61-64||Half right and left to places|
|65-68||Sides FORWARD FOUR Sides take partner's hand forward and back|
|69-72||Forward again, L2 takes hands with opposite gent, all retire|
|73-80||FORWARD THREE G4 and ladies forward and back (G2 standing), forward again, ladies turn, G2 advances, all retire|
|81-84||FORWARD THREE G2 and ladies forward and back|
|85-88||Forward again, ladies turn, take hands four|
|89-92||Circle left half and retire|
|93-96||Half right and left through to places|
|97-100||Sides FORWARD FOUR Sides take partner's hand forward and back|
|101-104||Forward again, L4 takes hands with opposite gent, all retire|
|105-112||FORWARD THREE G2 and ladies forward and back (G4 standing), forward again, ladies turn, G4 advances, all retire|
|113-116||FORWARD THREE G4 and ladies forward and back|
|117-120||Forward again, ladies turn, take hands four|
|121-124||Circle left half and retire|
|125-128||Half right and left through to places|
|9-24||Heads FORWARD TWO Heads join hands with partner, forward and back, pass through and face partner, chassez in and out, pass through|
|25-32||Heads BALANCE Heads face partner join both hands and do a couple do-si-do|
|41-56||Heads FORWARD TWO|
|73-88||Sides FORWARD TWO|
|105-120||Sides FORWARD TWO|
|9-8||Gentlemen conduct partners to their seats|
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.
The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. The interpretation is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2021 by George W. Williams V and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This website is copyright © 2021 by George W. Williams V
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.