The Boatman

The Boatman is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford in 1651 in The English Dancing Master. It was interpreted by Cecil Sharp in 1916. Found in The Playford Ball. It is a proper 3 Couple Longways dance. There is no progression in this dance. It is a USA dance. The dance lasts 96 bars.

Playford writes:
Lead up a D. forwards and back, set and turn S · That again :First cu. and 2. man the S. Hey, while the other three do the like, come to your places and turn your own · All that again, the 2. cu. changing their ends :

Sides all, set and turn S. · That again :The 2. man and the 1. cu. hands and go half round, while the other do the like, fall all back, then turn your own · That again, the 2. cu. changing their ends :

Arms all, set and turn S. · That again :First and last man and 2. wo. hands and go round, the 2 man turn his own wo · First and last wo. and 2. man hands and go round the 2. man turn his wo. :

The tune, also called The Boatman, was published by Playford with the dance. It was performed by Bare Necessities (Earl Gaddis, Mary Lea, Peter Barnes, and Jacqueline Schwab) on the album A Playford Ball. The music is used with permission from the Country Dance Society, Boston Centre, Inc.

The animation plays at 116 counts per minute. Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color.

The dance contains the following figures: USA, hand turn (allemande), set, turn single, circle, hey, hey for three (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 out of copyright, and is in the public domain. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2020 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.