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Bransles Double (Common), Single (Simple), Gay, Burgundian (Champagne)

Source: Arbeau, Thomas & Gingell.

Setting: A line or circle of dancers.

Version: 1.0

According to Arbeau, these bransles were danced as a set. The elderly danced the double (branle double / branle commun) and single (branle simple) bransle at a sedate pace, the young married folk danced the gay (branle gay) bransle, and the youngest would ``nimbly trip'' the Burgundy (branle de Bourgoigne / de Champaigne) bransle.

Double Bransle:

 1- 2   Double left,
 3- 4   Double right.

So that the dance moves somewhere, Arbeau notes that the double right is shorter than the left. In some places, he says, the dancers make a basse dance reprise or branle in place of the double right.

To ornament this dance, Arbeau suggests making 3 kicks during the second right step of the right double: kick left, kick right, kick left, hold. These kicks are done twice as fast as the normal steps, so that the 3 kicks and hold consume as much time as a normal single. In order to move to the right to retain the proper position relative to dancers who aren't doing this ornament, it would be necessary to step right while doing the first kick left. Arbeau doesn't make it clear exactly how this ornament is done; however, his description for the Gay Bransle is more explicit. If this ornament is done in a similar fashion, you step right, and when your right foot has received your weight, you quickly kick left, leaving your left foot far away from your right. For the kick right, you bring your left foot close to your right. The kick left is then done in place. These motions carry you right the same distance as a single.

Single Bransle:

 1- 2  Double left,
 3     Single right,

The same ornament as for the double bransle may be made during bar 3. Again, it is necessary to step right while doing the first kick left, so that the end position after measure 3 be the same as if a single right had been done instead.

The Gay Bransle is in triple time, and moves only to the left. All steps are ornamented: step left and kick right, leaving the legs separated. Then bring your right foot towards your left and kick left, in place. Repeat these two kicks, and then pause for two beats. In 2 measures of music you move one double to the left.

The Burgundian bransle consists of alternating doubles to the left and right, each one ending with a foot in the air instead of the feet together. Arbeau says that it is danced to a lighter, livelier beat, and is preferred by the youngest dancers.