[SCA-Dance] English dance before Playford?

Tim McDaniel tmcd at panix.com
Mon Jan 23 11:43:03 EST 2012

I want to find out if I understand correctly what we know of English
dance before Playford.  Would someone please check my understanding?

There are references to dances being done: an ambassador saw Queen
Elizabeth dancing the Spanish Panic, and I read a reference to a
payment to the three people dancing Trenchmore before the Queen, and
doubless many others.

Italian dances made it to England.  The Gresley intro (q.v.) mentions
"A collection of Basse Danses in the Salisbury manuscript date from
the 1400s, and was published by Robert Copelaunde in the 1500s. While
the Basse Dances are considered French, it is believed they had been
performed in England ..."  How about bransles?

The Pattricke|Lovelace Manuscript.  It's not clear about the date, but
it's apparently not from before 1649, two years before Playford.

The Old Measures|Inns of Court dances are in multiple manuscripts and
I think are pretty clear, but that's 8 dances.

Gresley is circa 1500, and has "choreography for 26 dances and the
music for 13, with an overlap of 8 dances having both music and
choreography" <http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/lod/vol5/gresley.html>.
But it's just one man's memory aid: it doesn't explain the steps, and
only some can have inferences drawn from steps with similar names in
other dances.

Danihel Lindicolinum
Tim McDaniel, tmcd at panix.com

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