Definition of contredanse in US English:



  • 1A French form of country dance, originating in the 18th century and related to the quadrille.

    • ‘The contredanse is a French import, with origins in the court of King Louis XIV.’
    • ‘Again, it never achieved, in Louisiana, the popularity of the danse ronde, no doubt because many of the figures of the contredanse required an even number of couples.’
    • ‘Both forms of contredanse were performed in France until the Revolution at the end of the eighteenth century.’
    1. 1.1 A piece of music for a contredanse.
      • ‘Although the menuet was more flexible, the contredanse was firmly rooted in this ‘quadratic syntax.’’
      • ‘Each contredanse consists of a title page, a page for description of the figures, another for the floor plan, and a fourth page for the music…’
      • ‘In France, where it was very popular, the contredanse became increasingly formalized during the 18th century, giving rise to contredanse suites by several composers including Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven.’
    2. 1.2
      another term for contradance
      • ‘Both the contredanse and the contradanza made their way to the Caribbean during the colonisation of the Americas, to the islands of Hispañola and Cuba.’
      • ‘In spite of the lack of beauty of the costumes, the contredanse made a good effect.’


French, alteration of English country dance, by association with contre ‘against, opposite’.