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            "Basic Branles" - Double, Simple, Gai and Burgundian

 

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Step abbreviations

Dl     double sideways to the left;     similarly  Dr

Sl     simple, or single sideways to the left;     similarly   Sr

kl     small kick with your left foot (pied en l'air);     Kl    large kick left (grve)

 

These branles begin with couples in a line or circle, holding hands. He who has his left hand free leads the dance.

 Name  Steps  Notes
 Double 

 

  Dl Dr,     making the steps to the right smaller than those to the left.  The Dr can be replaced with a reprise, a branle, or Sr kl kr kl, or other kicks.

 

 Slow and stately, danced by the elderly (though enthusiastic youngsters may introduce variations).

 

 Simple

 

  Dl Sr,    the Sr may be replaced with three kicks, as above

 

 As the double branle

 

 Gai

 

   kr kl kr kl pause, always moving left

 

 Fast and lively, danced by the young      married people.

You can think of this as a series of doubles, all to the left, only you finish each move with a kick (so step to the left, kicking out right foot, then close right foot, kicking out left, etc.)

 Burgundian

 

  Dl Kl, Dr Kr (each double ending in a kick - there's no extra time)

 

 Liveliest of all, and danced by the youngest. This is only the first in a suite called the branles of Burgundy.

 

Haut Barrois:

A manner of performing branles, as much as a specific choreography (the "Haut Barrois" branle being the Double Branle performed in the manner of the Haut Barrois). There is a little jump after every movement, and the arms and head can move as well.

Thus the Double Branle becomes: step left, jump, close, jump, step left, jump, close, jump; repeat to the right. You can treat the Simple Branle similarly.

The Burgundian Branle becomes: step left, jump, close, jump, step left, jump, Kr; repeat to the right.

Arbeau says this is how servants and lackeys dance.

 

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