[SCA-Dance] Maltese Branle vs SCA Maltese

Mary Railing mrailing2 at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 12 17:16:08 EDT 2011

Mummy Step???

So, originally it didn't have the claps? I had thought those were in it from the start. We always clapped three times when we got to the center of the circle. The original recording had claps, and I thought that was the way everyone did it.

Honestly, I never heard it called Turkish Bransle until after Signy had left the Middle, so calling it Maltese (even though we knew it wasn't the real Maltese) goes back to at least 1977.


From: Charlene Charette <charlene281 at gmail.com>
To: Mary Railing <mrailing2 at yahoo.com>
Cc: Stephen Kiefert <lanhamlaw at att.net>; "sca-dance at sca-dance.org" <sca-dance at sca-dance.org>
Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 4:16 PM
Subject: Re: [SCA-Dance] Maltese Branle vs SCA Maltese

On Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 8:26 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

I saved this message from May, 2002:

The real Maltese Branle is the one in Arbeau. He said it was
choreographed by "some Knights of Malta," which may not actually be
true, but makes a good story. Arbeau describes the dancers as twisting
and raising up their hands in imitation of middle eastern dance.

The "SCA Maltese Branle" (originally called the "Turkish Branle") was
choreographed by me, many many years ago in Northwoods, to the tune
"Schiarazula Marazula." It is an adaptation of Arbeau's Maltese, and
also calls for twisting, etc. It includes only steps and patterns from
the original Maltese -- just not all of them.

Then there is this thing that some folks describe as the Maltese or
the SCA Maltese, but which is neither.  It appears to have devolved
from one or both, but includes steps that never appeared in either (or
anywhere else in renaissance dance -- the "mummy" step, for instance).

The Turkish Branle:  double left, double right, double left, double
right; 4 allemande singles left-right-left-right to center, [half turn
counterclockwise]; 3 allemande singles l-r-l back to place; 3 pieds en
l'air (low kicks) left-right-left while turning clockwise into place.

Hope this helps.

-- Signy
Mistress Signy Dimmridaela, Founding Baroness Northwoods

What men value in this world is not rights but privileges.  -- H. L. Mencken

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