Les Rats Quadrilles is a set of five tunes composed by G. Redler as alternate music for the first set of French quadrilles. The tunes are unusually good, and the set became enormously popular and was reprinted for many years, not only in England but in America and Australia as well. In 1854 a piano-duet (four hands) version arranged by J. C. Vierec was published in Philadelphia.
Some editions featured the "tree roots" version of the title shown at left, and others a small orchestra of rats with various instruments. American editions seem to have credited the composer as "J. Redler", but English sources consistently give his first initial as "G".
I do not have a definitive initial date for the first publication of Les Rats, but in 1846, A. M. Hartley, in his The academic speaker, a system of elocution (Glasgow) mentions on page 319 the inclusion of "Redler's popular Rat Quadrilles" in Volume I of the collected Hamilton's Cabinet of Music, a sheet music series, which puts Les Rats into the first half of the 1840s.
Almost four years ago, I discussed the quadrille figure "chassé out", or chassé ouvert, in a post discussing the reconstruction of a mid-century quadrille. I've revisited the figure occasionally since then, both in its Regency-era context and in its unusual mid-19th century appearances in the quadrille calls of American dancing master Elias Howe, and found enough new information to be worth a fresh post on the topic and to make me reconsider how I would reconstruct the figure both for early quadrilles of the 1810s-1820s and for the quadrille sets published by Howe in 1858 and 1862.
Just curious if you have any historical sources for the proper "spelling" of The Lancers Quadrille(s). Spare Parts has it as "Lancers" on the original [Civil War Ballroom] CD, but as "Lancer's" in their sheet music book. I've also seen it as Lancers' on the web. Any thoughts?
It's not unusual for new sources to turn up that make me go back and reconsider a reconstruction. It's a little irritating for it to happen less than a month after I finally get around to publishing one here on Kickery, and doubly irritating for it to be not a new source but old sources I simply hadn't looked at recently. Fortunately, this is less a change in my reconstruction than further background and options.
In reconstructing the fourth figure of the Mid-Lothians, an early 1820s quadrille, I wrote in my reconstruction notes that "I've never found any description of what step sequence to use for this figure," referring to the grand chain. Actually, I had come across such, many years ago, and they had simply slipped my mind. But I was looking through quadrille sources for a different project and found them again, so here is a little more information about performance options for the grand chain.
Saturday, July 14th ~ Danvers, Massachusetts Private event
Tuesday, July 17th ~ Middletown, Connecticut Jane Austen Era Dancing Beginner-friendly lesson 8:15-9:30pm. No costume needed.
New date added! Friday, July 20th ~ New York City Friday Night Blues 8:00pm-2:00am. DJing blues for the first set (10-11pm)
Tuesday, June 24th ~ Cambridge, Massachusetts (Boston area) Bluesy Tuesy 7:30-11:00pm. DJing blues for the second set.
Thursday, July 26th ~ Northhampton, Massachusetts Smith College ~ private event
New date added! Sunday, July 29th ~ New Haven, Connecticut Yale Swing & Blues Sunday Night Practicum (Harkness Lounge, Yale School of Medicine) 8:00-11:00pm. DJing blues for the second set (9:30-11pm)
I am also available for private lessons in Connecticut (New Haven or Middletown) generally, and occasionally in New York City and Boston. Email me directly if you would like to schedule a private lesson.
New Haven & Middletown, Connecticut: generally available New York: July 7th Boston: July 15th & 24th
Coming in August:
Life gets busy again with teaching ragtime-era dancing at Mainewoods dance camp and the start of a road trip that will take me around the Great Lakes in late August/early September!