The Gloucester - Bray

The Gloucester - Bray is an English Country Dance. It was devised by Thomas Bray in 1699 and published in Country Dances: Being a Composition Entirely New, London. It was interpreted by Pat Shaw (website) in 1961 and published in Another Look at Playford. It is an improper duple minor longways dance. It is a multipart dance. The minor set lasts 48 bars.

Bray writes

The First Man begins Improper only in the First Part.

The first couple turns the second couple a whole turn and a quartner, the the right Hands, till they come all on a row cross the Room; the first couple with their Faces down, the second couple with theirs up; the all cast off to the left Hand, the first couple till they come below, the second couple till they come above; and so to the end, changing with your Woman when you come to the bottom.

The second Part.

Each Man changing with his own, with the right Hand, 1st Wo. and 2d. Man turn to the right Hand, and move two or three steps to the wall, the other cu. following them at the same time, the 1st. Wo. cast off, the Man following her till they come below, the 2d. Man cast up his Wo. following him, till they come into the 1st. cu. place above as at first, and so to the end.

The third Part.

First Man put his Wo. from him with both Hands into the 2d. cu. place, 2d. Man pull his Wo. to him with both Hands at the same time into the 1st. cu. place, then the 2d. Man take Hands with both We. and go quite round to the left Hand, the 1st. Man goes quite round at the same time on the outside of them, with his left Hand to them, 1st. cu. ends below, 2d. cu. above, and so to the end.

This consists of the three short progressive figures. In Bray's day each figure would run until everyone was back where they started. But I only show each figure twice.

Note that in the first figure the 1s are improper. This means all active 1s must cross over at the start of the second figure. But since the second figure starts with the 1s crossing over, Shaw suggests that the first time the ones simply turn single as they are already on the correct side.

Pat seems to thing the figures should be danced 1,2,3, 1,2,3, etc. and to that end he suggests that the 1s cross to improper at the end of figure 3.

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: hand turn (allemande), turn single, gypsy, circle, cast, poussette (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 © 1961 by Pat Shaw. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2022 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.