Black Bess ~ Callens

Black Bess ~ Callens is an English Country Dance. It was published by Henry Playford (website) in 1696 in The second Part of the Dancing Master, London. It was interpreted by Philippe Callens in 2002 and published in Belgian Boutades. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars. It is in the key: F Major. Someone thought this dance was Intermediate.

Callens describes the last figure as "all two-hand turn partner halfway and fall back into progressed places", but doesn't fill up the music very well. Playford simply says "then turn your partners to your own sides". So I think I am justified in changing Callens to "Two hand turn to proper" and allowing the dancers to decide whether that means half or once and a half or twice and a half, as suits their fancy.

The tune was published by Playford with the dance, and the music was synthesized by Colin Hume's software.

The animation plays at 133 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance will often be slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily (no music plays during this slow set). Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color, however the border of each dancer indicates what role they currently play so the border color may change each time through the minor set.

The dance contains the following figures: hand turn (allemande), gypsy, cast, rights and lefts, back to back (and probably others).

If you find what you believe to be a mistake in this animation, please leave a comment on youtube explaining what you believe to be wrong. If I agree with you I shall do my best to fix it.

If you wish to link to this animation please see my comments on the perils of youtube. You may freely link to this page, of course, and that should have no problems, but use one of my redirects when linking to the youtube video itself:

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The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. The interpretation is copyright © 2002 by Philippe Callens. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2021 by George W. Williams V and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website is copyright © 2021,2022,2023,2024 by George W. Williams V
Creative Commons License My work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Most of the dances have more restrictive licensing, see my notes on copyright, the individual dance pages should mention when some rights are waived.