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Horse's Bransle (Branle des Chevaulx)

Source: Arbeau; Thomas & Gingell; LoD v2.

Setting: A longways set of couples, holding both hands.

Version: 1.1

A:  1-16  Double up the hall, double down, 4 times.

B: 17-20  Men paw ground twice, step to right, turn over
           left shoulder to move up hall.
   21-24  Women paw ground twice, step to right, turn over
           left shoulder to move back to place.


A mimed bransle. This dance is danced in the SCA with the men moving up the hall one position each repetition, changing partners. The man at the top of the hall must run to the bottom. Occasionally the musicians will insert an extra measure of music to make this easier. See the Letter of Dance article by Master Robyyan for more details of this heresy.

Occasionally you'll see this dance danced in a double circle, with the men on the outside and the women on the inside. No running is required by this version.

As usual, Arbeau says nothing about switching partners. In fact, the instructions for this dance are very hard to interpret; there are other interpretations which are actually radically different from this one. They generally start by having the couples standing beside each other, with both hands joined in promenade hold. The couple doubles to their left and right four times, and then the men paw and move off to the left, followed by the women. The only difference is the starting position, but the dance ends up being quite different. I believe this is the only dance in Arbeau which has the couples holding both hands.