The topic of mescolanzes, four-facing-four country dances, and whether the famous dance La Tempête was the only surviving member of the genre by the mid- to late nineteenth century, came up in an email exchange recently. Mescolanzes are one of those dance genres for which I have spent years slowly accumulating examples, so I thought I'd talk a little bit about the format and where dances called mescolanzes appeared over the course of the nineteenth century.
I'm going to limit this quick survey to more-or-less anglophone countries -- England, America, Scotland, Canada, and Australia -- since I've not yet collated all the information I have from other countries. I'm also not going to discuss La Tempête specifically, since that is an enormous topic all on its own. Here and now, I will only survey dances appearing under the name or classification "mescolanze" and its several (mis)spellings.