~  Katherine's Renaissance Dance Pages  ~


England, around 1600

Primarily the dances described as the Old Measures in various MSS from the late 16th to the late 16th Centuries. For an excellent discussion of these dances, and for sheet music (pdf files), I suggest "Practise for Dauncinge" by Patri J. Pugliese & Joseph Casazza. There are midi files for some of these dances in Del's dance book (scroll down to "Allemandes").

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Step abbreviations:

S single, D double, Dh double with a hop at the end, Do double turning in place, R reverence

S single backwards, similarly D

Sl single sideways to left, similarly Sr


These dances are for a column of couples; each man holds the left hand of his partner unless otherwise specified. Begin the steps with your left foot and alternate left and right feet throughout the dance.

The Old Measures



The Quadran Pavan


   Sl Sr D,   Sr Sl D






   (DD) 4 times;   (Sl Sr DD) twice;   (DD) 4 times




The Earle of Essex Measure


   (DS) 4 times;    Sl Sr DS;    repeat whole dance












   A:   DD;   end facing partner

   B:   SSD (circling partner, holding right hands);   

         SSD (circling partner holding left hands);   end facing up

   dance ABAAAB




Lorrayne Allemayne


   (Dh) 4 times;   (DD DDo) twice;    repeat from beginning







The Auld Allman





   A:   face partner, hold both hands;   SSD (changing places) 

         SSD (changing back)

   B:   face up;   D 4 times

   repeat A






   (DD) twice;   (Dh) 4 times




The Queen's Almaine


 A:  DD;   face partner;   Sl Sr Do;  face up

       DD;  face partner;   Sr Sl Do;   face up  

 B:   (D) 4 times

Note: music starts with B. Wait through this strain, and start at the second.





The Newe allemayne




   (Dh) 4 times;   face partner;    Sl Sr Do;    Sr Sl Do,    end with R;

   men Sl  then  women Sl;  D changing places;   

   men Sr  then  women Sr;    D changing places

Note: local custom is to have women take the first singles when the dance repeats.






Madam Sosilia Alman





   A: (SSDS) twice;

   B:  face partner;   Sl Sr R;  

        SSD (changing places) R;   SS to meet and embrace

    repeat B










The Black Almaine








    (D) 4 times;

    face partner; DD;   

    turn to face own left; D;  return to place with D, end facing partner

    men Sl Sr Do ("set and turn");   women Sl Sr Do;

    take both hands, D to change places;  4 French slides to man's right;     D to change places,  4 "French slides" to man's right;    

   DD and face up.

Repeat the dance, with the women doing the set and turn first.


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