The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Fandango

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FANDANGO, the oldest national dance of Spain, especially of Andalusia. Some suppose it to have been introduced by the Moors; others say the Moors found the dance already established, and trace its origin to the most ancient times. It is danced in three-four time by one couple only, usually to the accompaniment of the guitar, and occasionally also of the tambourine, the dancers beating time with castanets and the spectators by clapping their hands. The Andalusian villagers dance it almost every evening, and always on Sunday. The dancers and their friends sing improvised couplets; and the lady offers her cheek to the men present after each dance, and allows herself to be embraced by all of them. The fandango is described as vivacious, graceful, and voluptuous. Repeated efforts of the clergy to suppress the dance have proved inadequate to overcome its popularity among the peasantry.