What dances do we like to play music for and teach?
The high fashion of the London court has filtered to our court in North Lincolnshire. When our Lord and His Lady are present we start with the pavans and then move to their associated Galliards and then onto the more lively Almains and Measures. Then we play for the branles and finally the new country dances.
The pavans are so stately and allow the dancers to display their poise and airs. The men will throw their occasional glances at their ladies while at the same time looking at the other ladies in the room.
The Almains sound as though they should be so solid and steady – after the country of their association – but in fact they are spritely and lively. No wonder they are such a success in the Inns of Court in London.
Galliards are so much fun. They present the dancers with the challenge of being both fit and artful. We play for the tourdions which are for those who cannot leap so high!
The French branles have been a success for many years across the water, but more
lately they have also transferred to England. These dances are simple in structure
– some only appearing as a gentle sway – and some mimic the actions of real life.
Some mimic washerwomen by the river, others horses in the paddock, others yet mimic
Our Queen Elizabeth has become very fond of the English country dances and these
have swept through the London courts and dance floors. We too have heard these and
learnt the steps from the travelling dancing masters. With names such as Gathering
Peascods, Sellingers Round, Jenny Pluck Pears we can now play and teach these delightful
dances to the good people in North Lincolnshire, and have even accepted invitations
to play, and to run dances in other counties.