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Streetswings Dance History Archives: Farandole
The Farandole by Erruly, circa 1895
The French Farandole dance History Archives Title      The Farandole Dance (traveling musicians or dancers being connected with others) is considered a French dance of Provence (S/E France) and of Languedoc (S. France) and said to be in the early middle ages; However, the Farandole was no other than the ancient Grecian Crane or Geranos dance of the 'windings of the labyrinth', which we owe to Theseus (Greek Mythology) which Homer wrote, and which the Phoenicians (9th century) who had imported it to Marseilles (S/E France).

     Originally, the dancers formed a linked chain by joining hands or by means of red handkerchiefs. The music, which was originally in 6/8, gave the signal; the chain gave way, running, skipping or just walk through the streets or roads, increasing with all the people whom it meets, and it goes on thus in a very quick and very rhythmical movement. At certain moments, the chain joins its two ends and forms a frolicsome circle or carole, or

it unstrings, and the dancers skip under the arch formed by two dancers who have separated from it. They can move to any music with a regular pulse in duple or triple time, simple or compound. The Rounds were quite pretty and easy to dance with the importance of the dancing of the figures, such as the: 'Arches, The Hay or Grand Chain, L'Escargot (the snail) and Threading the needle' with the 'Arched figures' being the most characteristic.

      They are danced to the popular airs composed for this purpose. The music was very up and lively. The dance was one of celebration (weddings, births, anniversaries etc.). Originally one person sings the stanza, then everybody joins the refrain in chorus, holding hands and skipping very vigorously in a circle as one sees children do:
* Avait une rose, Sur mon sein l'a mis.
* Les gens qui sont jeunes, Le marieront-ils?
All the dancers would answer in singing, "Oui, Oui!" and they jump as high as they can. When going thru the arch the dancers would yell out the name 'Thesus'. The dance seems to have been popular in the 1890s.

      The farandole has some similarities to the gavotte, jig, and tarantella with the carmagnole of the French Revolution is a derivative. In Belvédère, during the festival honoring the patron Saint Blaise, the most recently-married couple will lead the dance rather than the abbat-mage. Musically, the dance is a moderate to fast tempo 6/8 time and usually played by a flute and drum.

    The Bulgarian Chorovod and the Servian Kolo are gigantic Farandoles, in which all the female population of a city or village would take part. On the occasion of certain feasts the young girls would assemble in a garden outside of the city and lead an immense brawl (Branle/ball), conducted by one of them, who sings verses. Half of the dancers would support the voice, the others repeated after each verse and always thus, even to the end of the song. The chorovodka (leader of the chorus) yields her place to her neighbor and went to the end of the procession. Each dancer must have her turn, unless all prefer to leave the charge to the one who has the prettiest voice and the best memory. These songs were always legends put into verse and music; ballads gathered from generation to generation.


Birth Place

Creation Date


Dance Type

Greece / France* 9th century / popular: 1890s* Thesus? / theori Greek / Circle

Posters, Lobby Cards etc.

Sheet Music Covers

Music Titles

n/a n/a Farandole [MP3] (Bizet)
            Farandole Americaine [MP3]
            Farandole des Jeunes Filles [MP3]
            Farandole: L'Arlesienne Suite #2 (CD) (Clip)
            Farandole Provencal
            Kerthedon Hes
            La folle farandole
            Summer is Icumen In
            ~ See: Full Farandole Music List

Night Clubs



n/a n/a France
Video Clips (pop-up)

Films / Movies / Cinema


Ballets / Stage

Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1928 - Maldone (by J. Gremillons) n/a 1939 - L'Etrange Farandole
Not Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window. 1944 - Farandole       festival of Apollo at Delos by theori
Not Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window. 1964 - La Ronde            
Not Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window. 1995 - Bizet's Dream [DVD]        
Not Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.          
Not Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.        


Not Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.         Homer - 18th song of Iliade
Not Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.              
Not Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.              
Not Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.              

Other Related Dances ...

Ballet Conga Line Fedor Lensky Kolo Le Labyrinthe
Brawl / Branle Cornish Snail Dance Gavotte L' Escargot Spanish farandula
carmagnole Crane / Geranos Grecian Dance La Chaine Anglaise Tarentella
Chorovod Dance of Casos Greek Dance Lambeth Walk  
Circle Dance Danse of Gruë Jig (Gigue) Les Chaines Continues  

Dancers, Choreographers etc.


Alicia Markova Leonide Massine Henri IV
Frederic Franklin Nathalie Krassovska Napoleon
Igor Youskevitch Thesus  

Books, Magazine Articles on the dance...





Essai sur la danse antique et moderne Élise Voiart 1823 Audot
Lettres et entretiens sur la danse ancienne,
moderne, religieuse, civile et théâtrale
Baron, Auguste 1824 Dondey-Dupré père et fils
Histoire anecdotique et pittoresque de la
danse chez les peuples anciens et modernes
Fertiault, François 1854 A. Aubry
Quelques mots sur les danses modernes Brieux Saint-Laurent 1863 C. Douniol
Traité de la danse Giraudet, Eugéne 187? Imprimerie A. Veutin
La danse, la tenue, le maintien, l'hygiène & l'éducation Giraudet, Eugéne 1885 n/a
Cotillon, manuel de la danse Clément, Eugéne 1890's Ouachée
La danse Raoul, Charbonnel 1899 Garnier frères
The Dance, Ancient and Modern Moore, Arabella Elizabeth 1900 A. Moore
Dancing Frazer, Mrs. Lilly Grove 1907 Longmans, Green. and co
Practical and theoretical treaty of the dance Edmond, (par Bourgeois) 1909 Garnier frères
Guide du bon danseur Bottallo, G. 1912 Jouve & cie
Note: most of the pre-1890 french publications above deal with the Greek Crane or the Labyrinth dance.

Musicians / Singers etc.


Bizet, Georges (1838-1875) Last Judgement' by Fra.
Chostakovitch, Dimitri La Vita in citta by Lorenzetti
Gauthier, Claude (1961)
Flemish Fair by Peter Breughel
Dominique, Danielle (1964) Les Expedients de Farandole by P. Perrault1895
Edmunds, Dave  
Nana Mouskouri & Les Athéniens  

Misc. Research Words that may be related ... to help your searches

carole Minotaur n/a -
Labyrinth of Créte        


Farandole Provencal (translated lyrics)
When in the azure the clear sun goes up,
All is merry under the sky of Provence,When in the azure assembles the clear sun,
Of cheerfulness, it is the making alarm clock,In the orchards of the insane rounds the birds sing their refrains,
And to guide lives it farandole, Vibrant of agreement fifres and tambourines Of the cicada, the note equalizes,
Rhythm merrily the dance of Provence Of the cicada, the sourness, Mets song gold noises in the gold of the harvest.