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Branle

Other Renaissance dances

a dance

Background:

References:

Arbeau, Thoinot. Orchesography. 1588. Edited by Sutton, Julia. New York: Dover,
A manual of 15th and 16th century dances with original musical examples and instructions. Contains the earliest branle descriptions with music. The bransle step appears in basse danse.
Questions:

For what area or group or time span does his description apply?

What is the relation between the branle step and the branle dance? The branle step and the branle dance both move sideways to the left or right. But branle dances contain no term such as pas de branle. Side steps are pas simple or double. Do the branle step and dance only relate linguistically?

Library of Congress' online video reconstruction of Branle des Lavandieres (Washerwomen's Branle): partners face each other and do the simples perpendicular to the circle. Are simples (where the men and women take turns shaking their fingers) danced to the side while everyone is in a circle or facing partner as in the LC version? [The first italic commentary says gentlemen first "menacent" the ladies with their fingers, then the ladies "menacent" (menace, or threaten) the gentlemen. In today's folk dances, finger shaking is done to partner.]

Arbeau's double branle has a variation replacing the last double (moving to the right) with pieds en l'air (in place). How do you avoid collisions? [The variation (with a turn) occurs by choreography, not at will.]

Antonius Arena. Rules of Dancing, late 1520s. Transcription and English translation by John Guthrie and Marino Zorzi in Dance Research, 4:2 (Autumn 1986).
Contains single, double and mixed branles.

Attiagnant dance prints of bransles, middle 16th century.

de Lauze, (1623)

Negri. (See also: Sutton, Julia, 1990. Il Ballarino: The Art of Renaissance Dance. (videotape). (Distributed by Dance Horizons Video, Princeton Book Company, Publishers, Box 57, Pennington, NJ 08534.
Individual steps from the treatises of Fabritio Caroso and Cesare Negri, and group dances (in costume) to period instruments.