Quadrille (LKT)

This entry is part of the Lexicon of Klezmer Terminology (LKT). The LKT compiles a wide array of source materials that shed light on the historical and contemporary state of knowledge about klezmer music. Each entry includes a number of citations from primary and secondary sources that include or refers to the term in question. It also indicates whether musical notation or sound recordings are included in the source. By clicking on the bibliographic hyperlink at the end of each citation, you get the full reference.


“Monsieur Lieberman started to weep as he said this, drank more wine as he wept, and shouted ‘Vivat!’  The guests formed a circle and danced an old-fashioned quadrille with him in the middle, just as at a wedding in a little Jewish town.” [Nikolayev, Kherson province, afterwards, Odessa region, c. 1905]. Babel 1965, p. 257

“In L. Levanda’s article ‘Starinnye evereiskie svadebnye obichai (Perezhitoe 3), the author lists the dances done by girls with the bride at the preliminaries including: polka, waltz, mazurka, quadrille, and lancers... Most of the dances Levanda mentioned were widespread among the masses only in the second half of the nineteenth century. As is known, the polka was created only around 1830 (in Czechoslovakia) and the quadrille in the early nineteenth century (Parisian)...” Beregovski 1937 [= Beregovski/Slobin 1982, p. 533]

“It must be acknowledged, that among our large masses, for a long time now the folkdance has had been accompanied by singing and song; and not only to [modern couple dances such as] the polka did people improvise and sing songs, but also to the polonaise, quadrille, waltz, raynlender, mazurka, sher, beroyges-tants and others.” Cahan 1952b, p. 89

“‘To a quadrille.’” [Vashlikove, near Bialystok, pre-World War II; David-Haradok, near Vilna, pre-World War II]. Cahan 1957, p. 490 (#224, 232)

“‘To a quadrille.’... This song was sung to various dances with a melody from a Polish operetta.” [Warsaw, Poland, pre-World War II]. Cahan 1957, p. 490 (#230).

Sher, Sherele, Quadrille, dances based on square and longways dances performed with partners.” EncyJud 1971, p. 1266

“There are also ‘cosmopolitan repertoire’ couple dances of Western and Central European origin such as lances, pa de span, padekater, quadrille, polka, waltz, etc...played for both Jews and non-Jews.” Feldman 1994, p. 10

“We find in a memorial book of the community of Dubno... in the repertoire [of the klezmorim]... the ‘kadril’ dance, this was danced by four dancers and lasts about fifteen minutes...” Fridhaber 1978b, pp. 30-31

“‘R. Siminovitz, with a two-stringed fiddle...[played] the ‘polka,’ ‘kadril’ and ‘lanse’...” [Gedara, Palestine, 1888]. Fridhaber 1992, p. 396

“‘And the klezmers thunder through the ‘sherele’ and ‘kadril’ tunes,’”[Gedara, Palestine, c. 1910s]. Fridhaber 1992, p. 398

“[At weddings] Hersh the Klezmer with his band of his three sons...  really played out with a sher, a kadril.” [Kremenits, Poland, pre-World War II]. Gilernt 1954, p. 386

“A ‘kadril’ for four couples... lasted about fifteen minutes. This was a respectable dance, in a slow tempo.” [Dubno, Poland, pre-World War II]. Katshke 1966, p. 666

“Straight, straight, what does she desire, a beygele, or a krokodil (kadril)?...which is played at a wedding” [Warsaw, Poland, c. 1900]. Kattsenellbogen 1879, p. 47

The Quadrille and Lancelot, Kutztski, Bulgar, Pas d’Espagne, Vingerka: derived from the national dances of other countries (Russia, Poland, Roumania, etc.).” Lapson 1943, p. 461

“Opposite, at the other end of the hall, on a balcony sat the musicians with a clarinet, trumpet, and two fiddles. There was also a little Jew with a long, large bass, and a drum.... The hall filled up with people. Young people led themselves through waltzes and quadrilles.” [New York, c. World War I].] Raboy 1920, p. 25

“Jewish folk dance melody ‘sher kadril’. This melody was recorded in 1959 in Bucharest... [and was originally heard] forty to fifty years earlier from klezmorim that played in Moldavia and Bessarabia at Jewish weddings. This dance melody is interesting because of the clapping accompaniment which forms a counter-rhythm. This line influences the rhythm. Also interesting is the augmented second here.” [Moldavia/Bessarabia, c. 1910s-20s]. Sekulitz 1966, p. 50

“The dance-song is a collective folk-expression which derived from the need to sing for the dance and to dance for the song. The social dances that have no accompanying song emerged in the modern era. The dance-song was preserved by the Jewish masses a long time after the social dances had spread... Also it has been proven that to the new dances like the polka, the mazurka, the polonaise, the quadrille, the waltz words were sung which went with the rhythms... Eastern European Jews were accustomed to invite each guest to an especially favorite dance: one prefers the ‘freylakhs’, another the ‘volekhl,’ after that a ‘sher,’ yet another a ‘kozakl,’ a ‘polka’... ‘I still remember well from my childhood dances that were ‘modern’ such as pas d’espagne, pas de quatre, polka (circle dance which first appeared in 1830 in Bohemia), quadrille (first appeared in Paris at the beginning of the nineteenth century). These dances were only popular among the younger generation.’” Stutschewsky 1959, pp. 166-67, 169, n. 58