[SCA-Dance] Maltese Branle vs SCA Maltese

David Learmonth david.a.learmonth at gmail.com
Tue Oct 11 14:09:36 EDT 2011

On this topic, I've thought it interesting how much the dance has
propagated, though I admit that I still teach the dance myself.  (though
never quite certain what to call it).

>From my point of view, this dance is just fairly useful, and fun.  It may be
because we speed it up to make a game out of it, meanwhile the steps
themselves are easy enough / forgiving for completely new people, and it is
also somewhat showy.

Perhaps it may be another case of modern sensibilities?  I'm not certain.  I
guess that from my perspective, when looking at Bransles, it is just one of
the more useful ones for completely new people.  (though I do tell them that
it is a choreography somewhat in the style, as I figured I could see the
similarities to Arbeau's Maltese, whether those were intentional or not).

Oh, and the point about good music may also be what is helping it.  We do
find that it is much easier to dance for several minutes to a single bransle
at Pennsic when Wolgemut plays.  (Though I still wish they would play a more
mixed suite on occasion, but maybe it is difficult to coordinate as smoothly
transitioning back and forth with a larger, louder band?)

But yes, I would propose that no other bransle quite fills the role that
Turkish does in my toolbox for new people.  (my rough opinions)
- Oh, and without the hopping and kicking, Turkish seems pretty accessible
to everyone (since some can't dance as much due to knee issues and such)
- Horse's (as a mixer), is fun and easy, and gets people meeting people, so
that is good.
- Official has somewhat fallen out of favour due to not everyone being as
comfortable with it / getting hurt by it
- Washerwoman's, Pease, Hermits - these aren't bad since they have some fun
components / story.  Though not ones that we would do speeding up / as a
- Cassandra and Pinagay are reasonable.  Perhaps if they are together as a
mini-suite you could make a game of them?
- Charlotte, Aridan, War - these take more practice I think for beginners to
feel confident
- Single bransle as a line / tangle can be fun and easy and showy

Anyway, sorry to go a bit off topic.  I've just been interested to discuss
the merits of this particular dance, and whether we should be doing it, or
why it is fun for people and potentially still useful as a dance.  If people
are opposed, and can propose a good replacement dance, I'll certainly
consider switching it out for another.  :)

Darius  (who has been thinking a lot lately about various styles of dance
and what we might be missing in the SCA time period, or what aspects of our
society tend to make some of our dances less feasible than they would have
been in period, and how can we correct this?)

On Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 9:26 AM, Mary Railing <mrailing2 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> The dance was choreographed by Signy when she was living in Michigan in the
> mid '70's. In those days there was almost no recorded renaissance dance
> music available. The music came from an album called Tanzmusik der
> Renaissance (the source of the Entrecourante music as well). As far as I can
> recall, it was NOT called Turkish bransle originally. I never heard that
> name for it until years later, after SCA dance standards had risen, but, at
> least in the Middle, the name Turkish bransle never really caught on.
> --Urraca
> ________________________________
> From: Stephen Kiefert <lanhamlaw at att.net>
> To: sca-dance at sca-dance.org
> Sent: Monday, October 10, 2011 9:02 PM
> Subject: [SCA-Dance] Maltese Branle vs SCA Maltese
> Does anyone know how or why different music and steps were substituted for
> Arbeau's Maltese Branle but the name was kept?
> Stefan
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