The Britains

The Britains 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 Cecil Sharp in 1922. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The dance lasts 32 bars.

Playford writes:
The 1. man cast off to his left-hand into the 2. wo. place, and the 2. wo. cast up into the 1. man's place, then turn bboth hands into their own places; then the 1. wo. cast off to her right-hand, into the 2. man's place, and the 2. man cast up into the 1. wo. place, then take both hands and turn into their own places; then the two men lead through the two we. and cross over into each other's places, and then hands round and come into each other's places again; then the we. go between the men and cross over into each other's places and hands round.

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), circle, cast, lead (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 © 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.