Instructions for Hyde Park
by Dani of the Seven Wells
[ This article appeared in
volume 1 of
the Letter of Dance. ]
[Editor's note: this article is copiously footnoted -- follow the
links to footnotes.]
Hyde Park is a non-standard Playford dance which is part of the core
repertoire of the Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands (BMDL). It is
an enjoyable dance which is fairly easy to teach to beginners.
The instructions for this dance are presented below, in three
parts. First, the original Playford instructions are given. Below
that, the instructions are repeated in what I hope is a more usable
format. Those instructions should be all that is needed for anyone who
has ever done the dance. Finally, extensive footnotes on the
reconstruction are provided for those unfamiliar with the dance, or
for anyone wishing more information about the decisions which were
made in reconstructing it.
I. Original Instructions:
Figure 1 is taken directly from The Dancing Master, by John Playford,
published in London, 1650/1. 
Figure 2 provides the music for the dance, in modern notation.
II. Reconstructed Instructions:
Hyde Park -- Playford, 1651 for a square of four couples.
The music is in 6/8 time.
- 1-8 Chorus:
- 1-4 Head Couples forward 
and back a double.
- 5-8 Side Couples the same.
- 9-24 Slips (see figure 3):
- 9-10 Head Couples face partner, hold hands, and take 4 slips
 into the center.
- 11-12 Turn to face opposites
and take 4 slips out
 of the square.
- 13-16 Cast back to place. 
- 17-24 Side Couples the same.
- 33-48 Casting (see figure 4):
- 33-36 Head Couples cast 
to the sides and meet their opposites
while Side Couples face each other, take hands, turn 180 degrees to
trade places, 
and form an arch with their hands.
- 37-40 Head Couples go through the arch with opposites,
take partner's improper hand 
and return to place.
- 41-44 Side Couples cast to the sides and meet their opposites while
Head Couples face each other, take hands, and turn 180 degrees to
trade places, and form an arch with their hands.
- 45-48 Side Couples go through the arch with opposites, take partner's
proper hand and return to place. 
- 57-72 The Heys (see figure 5):
- 57-64 Mens' hey: Men turn towards their right and skip
 around the square,
going in front of their partners, behind the next lady, in front of the third
lady and behind the fourth.
- 65-72 Ladies' hey: Ladies the same
, to the left.