This is the third post in a series covering the individual figures of Allen Dodworth's New York Lancers, published in Dancing and its relations to education and social life in 1885, and comparing them side-by-side with the figures of Dodworth's standard Lancers. The first post in the series, with some background and a discussion of Figure 1, may be found here. Figure 2 may be found here.
Here is the third figure of the standard Lancers as given by Dodworth:Lancers, as danced at the present time: Third Figure (8b + 16bx4 or x2)
4b Head couples forward and back
4b Head couples forward and salute opposites (2b, extended) and back (2b)
8b Head couples ladies chain
The figure may be repeated three more times. The second iteration is exactly the same as the first, but on the third and fourth iterations the side couples perform the figures. Alternately, it can be performed only twice, once for the heads and once for the sides.
This is the shortest and simplest figure in the quadrille, though Dodworth's version is simpler than most. He notes that the original version would have involved only a single pair of opposites (a lady and the gentleman across from her) executing the forward-and-back figures and that the final figure was done by all four ladies, either as a right hands across and back or as a double ladies chain. Most mid- to late-nineteenth century Lancers seem to use a four-ladies figure rather than the simple ladies chain.
It's not clear from Dodworth's description whether the figure is done twice (once for heads and once for sides, rather than repeating) or four times. I favor only twice, since the figure is not terribly interesting, and there is no distinction between the first and second repetitions and the third and fourth. But many later nineteenth century quadrilles include four repeats of a figure regardless of these factors.
New York Lancers: Third Figure (8b + 16bx2)
[8b Wait; not included but standard practice]
4b All chassé across partners (ladies in front) to corners and back
4b Chassé across again and salute corners (2b, extended) and back (2b)
8b Gentlemen give left hands across in center and right to their partners (star formation) and all go round once to places
The second iteration is exactly the same as the first.
This figure is a distinct improvement on the original in that it involves all four couples throughout and has much more unusual figures than the original. Chassé across, the old chassé-croisé figure that dates back to the finale of the very first set of quadrilles, is much more intersesting than yet another repetition of forward-and-back and provides a sneak preview of what Dodworth does with the fifth (finale) figure. The star figure given is somewhat less graceful than a ladies chain, particularly for the ladies, who have to move quite briskly on the longer outside path, but at least provides variety -- this is the rare nineteenth-century quadrille with no ladies chain anywhere to be found.
I have added the standard eight-bar wait at the beginning of the figure and once again am speculating on the repeats. In this case, since the figure is exactly the same each time, I find the idea of four repeats ridiculous. Even twice through feels a bit repetitive.
Figures four and five of the New York Lancers will be examined in future posts in this series.