Black Bess ~ Callens

Black Bess ~ Callens is an English Country Dance. It was published by Henry Playford in 1696 in The second Part of the Dancing Master. It was interpreted by Philippe Callens in 2002. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The dance lasts 32 bars.

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 animation plays at 120 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance is slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily. 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, hey, rights and lefts (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.

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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 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.