/al"euh mand', -mahnd', al'euh mand", -mahnd"/; Fr. /annleu mahonnd"/, n., pl. allemandes /-mandz', -mahndz', -mandz", -mahndz"/; Fr. /-mahonnd"/.1. a 17th- and 18th-century dance in slow duple time.2. a piece of music based on its rhythm, often following the prelude in the classical suite.3. a figure performed in a quadrille.4. a German folk dance in triple meter, similar to the ländler.[1675-85; < F, short for danse allemande German dance]
* * *Processional couple dance with stately flowing steps, fashionable in the 16th century, especially in France.A line of couples extended their paired hands forward and paraded back and forth the length of the ballroom. It was revived in the 18th century as a figure dance for four couples, in which each pair performed intricate turns under each other's arms, a figure that partly survives in the "allemand" of the U.S. square dance. In the late 17th century a stylized version of the dance in 44 time began to be used by composers as the first movement of the suite.
* * *▪ dance and musicprocessional couple dance with stately, flowing steps, fashionable in 16th-century aristocratic circles; also an 18th-century figure dance. The earlier dance apparently originated in Germany but became fashionable both at the French court (whence its name, which in French means “German”) and in England, where it was called almain, or almand. The French dancing master Thoinot Arbeau (Arbeau, Thoinot), author of Orchésographie (1588), a principal source of knowledge of Renaissance dance, regarded it as an extremely old dance. Its popularity waned in the 17th century.In the allemande the dancers formed a line of couples, extended their paired hands forward, and paraded back and forth the length of the ballroom, walking three steps, then balancing on one foot; a livelier version used three springing steps and a hop. The music was in 4/4 time. As a 17th-century musical form, the allemande is a stylized version of this dance. In a suite (as in J.S. Bach's English Suites) it is normally the first movement.The 18th-century allemande was a figure dance in 2/4 time for four couples; one of its handholds possibly derived from the earlier allemande. The dancers performed intricate turns called enchaînements, or passés, with elaborate interlacings of the arms.
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