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April 01, 2010


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And, as I cross-posted yours to her, have a link.

I think this may be one of the first historical dances we teach our daughter.

This reminds me of the bransle I discovered some years back, bransle des lapins. In shorthand, it consisted of three demi-simple left (a new step, not found in other ms. involving moving the foot without transferring weight, and then bringing the moving foot back to place at the end of the step), three demi-simble right, followed by thee leaping hops (off both feet, landing on both feet) forward. The dance appears to be done in a column rather than the more standard line or ring formation of the other bransles. It was discovered scribbled in the margins of a 16th century manuscript that appeared to be the notes of a religious student. Perhaps these represent a new corpus of animal bransles? I look forward to more discoveries.

The difference would be that I really didn't choreograph this one, though I did provide some backstory for it. It was, in fact, found in feral form in a church basement during my regular Monday night dance class.

I had the (?good) fortune to see this done in its seated version done on a bus in Andorra, with words sung in Catalan, in 1981. I had gone to the area to learn the Sardana, another dance of ancient origins done in a circle, but of more heightened national importance in Catalunya.

Put your toes together, your knees apart
Bend your back, get ready to start
Flap your elbows, just for luck
Then you wiggle and you waddle like a baby duck.

It's obvious that the movements have been danced to different tunes over the course of time here's another one from early in the 20th century http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0TA3vnc2fo&feature=related

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