Spanish Dance but it was probably the Fandango dance. The Tarentella and Furlana are similar dances, with the main exception of the couple touching each other. The Fandango has been portrayed in many ballets as well. By the 19th century it was said the Fandango was scarely danced and was replaced by the Jota, Sevillana and Bolero.
The primitive Fandango could not be executed in a drawing-room of moderate size as the dancers would sometimes make sets (groups). The woman accompanied herself by castanets, The feet stamp the time accents, in the absence of castanets the fingers and thumbs are snapped indicating the measure (slow 6/8) by a graceful movement of the feet, of the heel. The gentleman tosses a tambourine; (or a tambour de basque, which, however, is now out of use), this he strikes with little bells, seeming, as it were, to invite his companion to accompany him in gesticulation, sometimes he also has only castanets, however this was usually, but not always deemed as efeminate. At the end of certain measures, the music halts abruptly and the dancers remain froze until it is resumed.
This dance requires a costume. The woman adopts the short skirt of bright-colored silk, and adorns it with flounces of black blonde lace. The gentleman wore an embroidered, braided waistcoat. The guitar furnishes the orchestra while dancing, both male and female alternately playing the same air, both keep time to its measure. The Fandango is said to be a foundation to all the other Spanish Dances.
The progress of the Fandango, a highly boasted dance, is one of the proofs which, backed by the decisions of the Spaniards, establishes the Fandango as the leading dance of Spain, along with the Flamenco and as the one which stands in the highest estimation. Their other dances are scarcely anything more than imitations of it, and are looked upon as second rate.
Some music is of or a mix of 3/8, 3/4, 6/8 time. Some variations are -- the Malagueña (aka: Flamenco), the Rondena, the Granadina and the Murciana. The Chica dance of Africa is said to be the Fandango, only was a much calmer version. The use of Castanets, Guitars or a Mandolin, the arms and hands play an important role. Many Roman dances are said to be compared to the Fandango. The Plugge-dansen (Holland) was also a kind of fandango.
The Menuet Afandango is partly composed of the Minuet and Fandango. The Jaleo de Xeres and the Ole' are somewhat similar to the Fandango, their charm consisting in their rapid combination of gestures and motions, and are said to be in high favor among the Andalusians. The former is not unfrequently introduced in stage ballets.
Zapateado, El (form of Flamenco,) This is the same sort of movement as the Guaracha, and is in the time of 3/8. There is in this dance a considerable noise made by the feet. Its steps are struck, as it were, similar to the Anglais and the Sabottière.
Carlos Blasis states in his book "The Code Of Terpischore" in 1830 states:
"America is not the only country that has been influenced by Africa in dancing; From the Moors it was that Spain first received that dance now so peculiar to it, the Fandango, which is nothing else than the Chica , under a more decent form, the climate and other circumstances not permitting the performance of this latter with all its native concomitants. The origin of this dance is very difficult to discover; but every thing in it seems to be the effect of a burning climate, and ardent constitutions. The Fandango is danced by two persons, and accompanied by the castanets, an instrument made of walnut wood, or of ebony.
The music is in the time of 3/8, and is a rapid movement. The sound of the castanets, and the movements of the feet, arms, and body, keep time to it to the greatest nicety. It is all life and action in the Fandango. It was formerly danced much more generally by persons of quality, after the regulations enacted for the theatre, which introduced more dignity, more formality, and unaccompanied by the slightest movement that could give offence to modesty, or shock good taste. The lower orders, amongst whom this dance is in high request, accompany it with attitudes which savour of the vulgarity of the principal performers, and their extravagant movements never slacken, never cease, till they are fairly tired out"... end Blasis.
In choreographing the dance, the dancers if solo, duette, or quartette, all used castinettes. If corps of eight, or sixteen half castinettes and half used tambourines. If solo, the dancer came on from L. 2d ex.. If for more, half came on from each side of stage. If more than a duette form in column of 2s down center of the stage.