Pea Straw is a dance that was described in several manuscripts and publications in the early United States, and we enjoyed dancing it for many months (before the pandemic paused our dancing together.) It features a version of the contra corners figure, done with colonial-style allemandes.Continue reading
Pleasures of the Town
Pleasures of the Town is a dance that we have been enjoying for a few years. Reconstructing it raised some interesting issues about the different ways the term “allemande” was used, and about how to interpret manuscript versions of dances.Continue reading
It’s been a LONG time!
We haven’t danced together indoors since March of 2020 due to COVID-19. We have danced weekly on Zoom but danced together a little both last summer and early fall, and last week. We are very much hoping that we can continue to dance together in 2022!
We are posting an article on a dance that we have danced in the past, and danced last week. We hope to post (and dance!) more regularly.
We found Black Dance in a manuscript written by Jeremiah Brown of Seabrook, New Hampshire, in 1782. It was described in several manuscripts in the United States late in the eighteenth century and early in the nineteenth, and various versions appear in English sources (sometimes called “Black Dance”, and sometimes “The Black Dance”). Continue reading
The tune The Swiss Allemande was published in London by Mr. Werner in Humbly Dedicated to the Gentlemen & Gentry Subscribers in 1780, and by Charles and Samuel Thompson in 24 Country Dances of 1782, published in 1781, as well as in Thompson’s compleat collection of 200 favourite country dances: etc. (Volume 5) published in 1788. It crossed the Atlantic rapidly and Continue reading
The tune Allemande Swiss, and the dances written to go to it, were extremely popular in late eighteenth century America. (It is not to be confused with the tune “Swiss Allemand”, and the dances which were written to go to it.) Approximately 20 dance manuals and hand-written manuscripts from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century include both country dances and a cotillion with the name Allemand Swiss. As spelling was not standardized in the 18th century, we find many varied spellings of the title, like Continue reading
None so Pretty
We found “None so Pretty” in a collection of country dances from Walpole, New Hampshire entitled A Collection of Contra Dances of Late, Approved, and Fashionable Figures, Walpole: Museum Press, 1799. Continue reading
Market Lass first appeared in The New Collection of Country Dances by John Burbank, published in Brookfield, MA in 1799. We have been enjoying this dance for many months now, and want to share it. Continue reading
Sweet Richard (two versions)
“Sweet Richard” is a name that has been used for more than one tune, and more than one set of figures. What’s more, the same set of figures, danced to the different tunes, becomes a very different dance! We’ve danced more than one version. Continue reading
Penington’s Rant was published in London by John Johnson around 1748 and by Samuel and Charles Thompson in their Two Hundred Country Dances Vol. 1, published in 1758 (or, according to the Tune Archive, published in 1757). It was likely published in Thompson’s Twenty Four Country Dances for 1751 or 1752, We have not found any written record of this dance in the colonies, but it is likely that it was enjoyed on both sides of the Atlantic! Continue reading