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Streetswings Dance History Archives: Choral Dance
Photo ot Eros and Psyche marraige
Choral dance History Origin Title   The ancient Greeks can be said to have CREATED the 'logical approach' to the dance whereby classifying all its elements and organizing all its parts into one unified system which is still used today. In Greece the choral dance in honor of Dionysus played a part in the development of the drama and in religious worship as well as other god's and goddesses. These very early dances more often than not used a poetic meter rather than a musical meter for the rhythm.

   Choral Dances are generally done in a double file formation, which are done in all parts of the world, were the particular motif of religious strife does not enter. Choral's of this kind were widespread among the primitive peoples of certain cultural levels around the 1400's, and are also frequent in Arabian countries today. They can even be found in Moorish Spain.


   In music, large group of singers performing in concert; a group singing liturgical music is a choir. The term chorus may also be used for a group singing or dancing together in a musical or in ballet. By extension it can also mean the refrain of a song. Choral music stems from religious and folk music, both usually having interspersed singing.

French opera's:
   Opera's began way back in the 12th Century. However the French didn't officially begin until 1669 with the establishment of the Académie royale de Musique, which was taken over in 1672 by dancer and composer Jean Baptiste Lully (Giovanni Baptista Lully - 1632-1687) after the bankruptcy of its founders, King Louis XIV (1638-1715). Italian opera, the pastoral, French classical tragedy, and the ballet de cour (a ballet) were the antecedents of French opera. Lully introduced his audience to grand-scale entertainment: lavish stage settings and scenery in addition to Ballets, choruses, and long disquisition's on love and glory. His operas were divided into five acts and a prologue. The operas of the French composer Jean Fillip Ramie (1683-1764) repeated on this tradition established by Lully, but were not very well received.

   in music, an instrumental form derived from dance and consisting of a series of movements usually in the same key but contrasting in rhythm and mood. The principle of the suite can be seen in the playing together of two dances in contrasting meters, e.g., Paean and Mallard or passamezzo-Saltarello in the 16th century. In France and Italy there developed sophisticated techniques for linking dances together, which were adopted by German musicians in the early 17th century. As the connection with actual dancing disappeared, the baroque suite evolved. In Germany the suites of Johann Jakob Froberger established the basic group of movements as Allemande, Courante, and Sarabande, with a Gigue often being played. The late baroque suite or overtures, e.g., the partitas of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750,) frequently had an introductory movement and one or more dances such as the Minuet, Bourrée, Gavotte, Passepied, etc.


Birth Place

Creation Date


Dance Type

Greece 3000 - 1400 BC n/a Choral / Folk
"Imagine Choral dances as angels dancing their way through the Heavens."

Posters, Lobby Cards etc.

Sheet Music Covers

Music Titles

n/a n/a Choral Fantasy
            Chorales from Chorales #5 & 8
            Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite
            Morris Dance
            Nutcracker Suite
            Ogre, the (1925) Ballad

Night Clubs



n/a Olympus Crete

Films / Movies


Ballets / Stage

n/a n/a 1912 - Passing Show


            1966-67 - Dancing Times Mag

Other Related Dances of the time...

Bacchanal Contre danse Greek Open Dance Mime War Dance
Ballet Dance of the Labyrinth Gymnopaedia Moresque Zambra
Cathedral dance Emelia Dance Hormos Dance Pantomime  
Chica Epilinios Dance Ierakio Dance Pyrrihic Dance  
Choral Dances Geranos Dance Imeneos Dance Spiraling Greek  
Closed Greek Dance Greek Circle Dance Iporchima Dance Sword Dance  

Dancers, Choreographers etc.


Kourites (Crete) Sophocles (5th cent. Dancer composer) Louis XIV (1638-1715)
Rea (Goddess) Terpsichore Rea (Goddess)
Sundry Boys Toledo Choir Boys Greek Mythology

Books, Magazine Articles on the dance...



Date Published


Banquet Topics 'Plutarch' 90 AD n/a
Dialogue on Dance 'Lucien' 160 AD n/a
Deipnosophistae 'Athenaeus' 215? n/a
Dionysiaca (Greek Epic) 'Nonnus' 500 AD n/a
The Dancing Master Rameau, Pierre 1727 AD n/a
World History of Dance Sachs, Curt 1937 AD Norton & Company
Dance Encyclopedia Chujoy, Anatole 1949 AD A.S. Barnes
Dictionary of Dance: Choral Jacobsen, John n/a Leonard Corporation



Poets / Writers

- William Byrd (1543-1623) Greek sculptors Athenaeus (w)
- Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)     Homer (w)
- Johann Jakob Froberger (1616-1667)     Plato (427-347 BC)
- John Bull (1667-1735)     Aristotle (384-322 BC)
- Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)     Alcman
- Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)        

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

Byzantium Christian Dance Erato (Muse) Sundry Boys
Baroque Caróla Stately dance Sword
Castanets Carolare Sacred Dance Zeus
Cathedral dance Court Dance Sicinnis  
Chamber Music Daunse    
Other... LINK: Byzantine Dance Page
The Art Of Dress 1500 to 1914 Medieval Costumes in England and France Medeval Costumes and Fashions
$ Art Of Dress 1500-1914 $ Medieval Costume 1 $ Medieval Costume 2