Vanistendael, Cornelis. "Shaping Europe's First Dance Craze – The Role of Napoleon's Grande Armée in the Dissemination of the Quadrille (1795-1815): Case Studies in Cultural Mobility from the Southern Netherlands." Dance Research 36, no. 1 (May 2018): 91-111.
The first decade-and-a-half of the nineteenth century witnessed the unusually-speedy dissemination of a new dance, the quadrille, over a vast territory. The traditional channels of dissemination cannot account for this astonishing process. The circumstances of the Napoleonic wars disrupted the functioning of institutions, publishing and networks of patronage. This article proposes an alternative explanation for the rapid rise of the quadrille. It explores aspects of the military culture of Napoleon's army to account for the veritable dance 'craze' associated with the quadrille. During winter campaigns, French forces organized dance lessons on a massive scale. They encouraged peer-to-peer tutoring. Moreover, the organisation of Napoleon's army allowed the formation of networks that were unaffected by the social constraints acting on appropriation processes in civil society. The process is a fine demonstration of the concept of cultural mobility. Although the question of the dissemination of the waltz is of equal importance during the era under study, it will not be addressed here. The origins of the waltz lie in a more distant past and concern a different cultural sphere. The case of the quadrille is a broad European phenomenon. To get a hold on it, this article focuses on case studies from the Southern Netherlands and the principality of Liege, a territory which approximates to contemporary Belgium.