The Britain

The Brittainne

The Britain ~ 3 Couple The Britain

The Britain or The Brittainne is an English Country Dance. It was published by John & William Neal in 1726 in A Choice Collection of Country Dances. It was interpreted by Rich Jackson & George Fogg in 1990. It is a proper Triple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 72 bars.

The Neals write:

1st ma: wth his right hand leads his par: by her left round 2d ma: in minuett step into 2d cu: place:
1st wo: wth her right hand leads her par: by his left round 2d wo: in minuett step into their own places:
1st cu: sett, cast off into 2d cu: place & cast off into 3d cu: place, sett & cast up into 2d cu: place, & sett & cast up into their own places:
1st cu: dance & cast off into 2d cu: place, & ye same into 3d cu: place:
Dance again & cast up into 2d cu: place, dance & turn single in 2d cu: place:
1st cu: clap hands wth one another turn single & whole figure wth 2d cu:
clap hands again turn single & figure wth 3d cu:

The A and B strains are in 3/4 time and should be danced with a minuet step, while C and D are in 2/4. I presume this dance is a vehicle for dancers who want to show their setting skills, with 4 opertunics to demo different steps in 3/4 time, and four more in 2/4 time.

Jackson and Fogg do not say how the 1s should loop M2 to end proper in second place. I've come up with a solution, you may have a better one. That's a lot of music for a fairly short distance. The original instructions say to use a minuet step, perhaps that is slow.

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 dance contains the following figures: set, turn single, cast, lead, figure eight (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 © 1990 by Rich Jackson & George Fogg. 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.