The Laughing Vicar

Hellen and Paris


The Laughing Vicar or Hellen and Paris is an English Country Dance. It was devised by Nathaniel Kynaston in 1716 and published in Twenty four new Country Dances for the Year 1716. It was interpreted by Andrew Shaw in 2017 and published in Elephants Stairs. Originally a Triple Minor this version is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 44 bars.

Kynaston writes:

Note: Each strain twice.

The 1st. and 2d. cu. go the hay then right hands and left quite round the 1st. cu. go the hay with the 2d. wo., then set to the 2d man, and turn him quite round 1st. cu. set and cast off 1st. cu. go back to backsides with the 3d. cu. and turn quite round and lead up to the top, then set two steps backward and cast off

Originally a triple minor.

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), set, circle, cast, lead, figure eight, double figure eight, hey, hey for three, rights and lefts (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 copyright © 2017 by Andrew Shaw. 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 © 2021,2022 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.