Black Dance ~ Straight and Skillern

Blac Dans ~ Landrin Black Dance ~ Rutherford Black Dance ~ Straight and Skillern The Black Dance

Black Dance ~ Straight and Skillern is an English Country Dance. It was devised by Straight and Skillern in 1775. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2023. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 24 bars.

Straight & Skillernwrite:

1st. & 2d. hands across half round the same back again 1st. Man leads his Part: down the middle & brings up the 3d. Wo. & leaves his Part: in her place then the top Cu. & 3d. turns first right hands behind then left & the 1st. Man lead the 3d. Wo. down to her own place & bring his Part: up to the top & cast off into the 2d. Cus. place

I'm not sure what to make of then the top Cu. & 3d. turns first right hands behind then left. What does "turning with right hands behind" mean? Perhaps it's an allemande?

While Rutherford (and Thompson) published a different figure.

Turn right hands and then left lead your Partner down and bring up the third Wo. then the first and third Cu. turn right hands & then left lead the third Wo. down and your Partner up & cast off.

This dance even crossed the Channel and Landrin published it in Recueil Danglaise: Arrangees Avec Leurs Traits Telle Quel Se Danse che' la REINE. Most things change as they cross, and this was no exception:

Landrin writes:

  1. Lors que l'air Commance, le premie Cus. Croisse les mains avec sa dames, il décende d'un Couple, dans le millieu
  2. Le Cus. en quittant sa dames, Croisse les mains avec la 3me. dame remonte a sa place, et de suite la remênent a la siene
  3. il reprend sa dames, et vient faire un rond de 4 entier, avec Ceux qui sont remontré a sa place et il se trouve - avoir gagnez une place

L'on Continue la même Figures alternative

Or, as I translate it...

  1. 1st couple cross
    turn partner
    lead down
  2. 1st man leaves his partner
    Takes a crossed hand hold with 3rd woman and leads her up 1st place
  3. 1st man gets his partner back (how?)
    and makes a circle with those who went to the top (the 3s?), a full circle
    and gain a place

The animation plays at 120 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. 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 dances of George Williams (including interpretations like this one) are licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: CC BY-NC-SA license.

A11-31s+2s right hands across...
4-6...and left hands back
A21-31s lead down, M1 drops W1 near W3
4-6M1+W3 lead to top
B11-31s+3s regency allemande right...
4-6...and back by the left
B21-2Top couple lead down, M1 drop W3
3-41s lead up as W3 moves into her place
5-61s cast down as 2s lead up

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 © 2023 by George Williams. And is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2023 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.