1893 text

“Branle. Espece de danse de plusieurs personnes, qui se tiennent par la main, et qui se menent tour-a-tour. “Dictionnaire de l’Academie. A country dance mentioned by Shakespeare and other dramatists under the form of brawl, which word continued to be used in the eighteenth century.

“My grave Lord Keeper led the brawls; The seals and maces danced before him.” Gray, ‘A Long Story.’

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

6 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

"The Branle [Brahn-lee] is a French Renaissance dance that was well documented in the Festival of Nance in 1445,...and was a very gay and quick dance [in 4/4 time] (generally danced outdoors) by a group, either in line or circle.

"-- It was considered a Court Dance sometimes being referred to as a carole. The name comes from Branler (Shake) and Brander (Brandish). The English called the Branle 'the Brawl' and described it as 'a winging step and anterior kick and swing, the lifting of the leg, the twisting of the feet and the side fling of the foot are frills of past dances'. The dance was said to be based on the Kick of a Cow ('rû de vache').[...] The Charleston dance is said to have had its roots in the Branle" http://www.streetswing.com/histma…

Pedro  •  Link

Also known as Brantle.

Davidson in her biography of Catherine says...

"brantle or brawl..Indeed, Charles's dancing had been praised of Europe since the day when, as a mere boy, he performed before the Court at the Hague, and people watched him with speechless admiration."

Pedro  •  Link

More on the Brawl...(Book of Days)

"In the reign of Charles I, the young gentlemen of the Middle Temple were accustomed at All-Hallow-Tide...They were proper handsome young gentlemen, habited in rich suits, shoes and stockings, hats and great feathers. The master led them in his bar gown, with a white staff in his hand, the music playing before them. They began with the old masques; after which they danced the Brawls, and then the master took his seat, while the revellers flaunted through galliards, corantos, French and country dances, till it grew very late."

Pedro  •  Link

Even more on the Branle.

Mr. Douce has transferred it into his Illustrations of Shalespeare, from the book in which it originally appeared, a volume styled Orehesograpitie, professedly by Thionot Arbeau (in reality by a monk named Jean Tabouret), printed at Lengres in the year above mentioned. He calls it a branle or brawl, 'which was performed by several persons uniting hands in a circle and giving each other continual shakes, the steps changing with the tune. It usually consisted of three pas and a pied: joint to the time of four strokes of the bow; which being repeated, was termed a double brawl. With this dance balls were usually opened.'

The copy given in the original work being in notation scarcely intelligible to a modern musician, we have had it read off and harmonised as follows:
For a couple of lines of music see The Book of Days...(3/4 down page)


language hat  •  Link

Also known as bransle and (in Scotland) brangle.
The OED does not seem certain that brawl 'kind of French dance resembling a cotillon' is the same word.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Branle from Cotgrove French English Dictionary
Branle Branler see Bransler to totter and more
bransler la teste, to shake the head.
bransler la pique, to frig,to wriggle it.
bransle au manche, to stagger
http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/cotgr… dothe think it be a good discription of the falaunting of ones derriere.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.