a lively dance, formerly popular, for one couple, characterized by a jumping step and usually in quick duple meter.
a piece of music for this dance or in its rhythm.
Also, rigaudon, rigodon.

1685–95; < French rigaudon, perhaps from name Rigaud

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World English Dictionary
rigadoon or French rigaudon (ˌrɪɡəˈduːn, riɡodɔ̃)
1.  an old Provençal couple dance, light and graceful, in lively duple time
2.  a piece of music for or in the rhythm of this dance
[C17: from French, allegedly from its inventor Rigaud, a dancing master at Marseille]
rigaudon or French rigaudon
[C17: from French, allegedly from its inventor Rigaud, a dancing master at Marseille]

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Encyclopedia Britannica


sprightly 17th-century French folk dance for couples. Its hopping steps were adopted by the skillful dancers of the French and English courts, where it remained fashionable through the 18th century. Conjecture assigns its origins to Provencal sailors and its name to a Marseille dance master, Rigaud, who reputedly introduced the dance to Parisian society in 1630. As a court dance, it was performed by dancers who ran, turned, and repeated in place a series of jumping steps.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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