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Candlestick/Torches Bransle (Branle du Chandelier)

Source: Arbeau

Setting: A collection of men and women spread around the floor.

Version: 1.1

This dance is described by Arbeau as a mixer. The men begin the dance, dancing around a partner. The couples dance for a while, then the men stop dancing and the women dance to find a new man, and so forth.

Unfortunately, Arbeau's tabulation for this dance consists of only:

A:  1-16  8 Almain-style doubles.

B: 17-20  4 Almain-style singles.

Thus, he specifies exactly when you take which type of steps, but does not specify how long each phase of the dance lasts --- i.e. dancing alone, finding a partner, dancing with the partner, and so on.

One interpretation of the dance that I've seen is that the men dance alone for bars 1-16, and ask a woman to dance with them during the 4 singles. Then the couples dance randomly around the room for the next 8 doubles, dividing during the 4 singles, and so on. The men are supposed to be holding lit candles, and hand them to the women when the women dance alone, and so forth.

This dance is sometimes done in the SCA with one man starting with a lit candle. When he dances with a woman, he lights her candle. Then they both seek out a new partner with an unlit candle, dance with them, and light their candles. The dance thus spreads to include all the dancers in 5 or 6 repetitions. Alternately, one can use a bouquet of flowers, and divide it each time.

A different reconstruction would be to have the dance be free-form; take the appropriate steps at the appropriate times in the music, but take any length of time you desire to find a partner, dance with them for as long as you like, and so forth.