Dances for the French King: Andre Lorin's "Livre de Contredance"
By Julia Sutton (co-editor), Rachelle Palnick Tsachor (co-editor)
Court and Social Dances from 17th Century France and England
André Lorin's "Livre de Contredance" (1685–87) is a collection of dances of a type long known as English country dance. Lorin, sent to England by Louis XIV, was asked to bring back to court the "most beautiful" of the dances. He then profoundly changed them, imbuing them with the French style of the steps recently codified by the Académie Royale de Danse (of which he claimed membership) and showing how to perform them exactly with the music. Lorin's manuscript is published here for the first time, in complete facsimile, with the corresponding translation and a full performing edition of the dance on each facing page. Extensive illustrations and essays about Lorin's life and the long history of the dance type, explanations of the notated steps, concordances and biographies of the courtiers to whom the dances were dedicated fill out the volume.