[SCA-Dance] English dance before Playford?
dani at pobox.com
Mon Jan 23 12:24:59 EST 2012
Here's an article I wrote once upon a time, but take it with a grain of
salt, because I wrote it when I thought I knew more about the subject, and
because there's more material available today:
Here's another article from the mists of time, by Joseph Casazza:
What we know about ECD in general tells us very little about whether a
specific dance 'might' have been done in period. The honest answer is any
given dance probably has numerous traceable elements - lyrics, music,
written instructions, steps, figures, name of dance - but was likely
performed in a style that owed a lot to current fashion. That's true today
- even for dance genres with historical roots - and I know of no reason to
believe that it was different in period. There isn't much evidence for the
"fashion changed very slowly back then" school of thought.
On Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 11:43 AM, Tim McDaniel <tmcd at panix.com> wrote:
> 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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