The Marlborough - Playford is an English Country Dance. It was published by Playford (John Young) (website) in 1706 in The Dancing Master, 13th ed.. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2023. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 48 bars.
Note: Each Strain is to be play'd twice over.The first Man and 2. Wo. sett to each other, and then Figure the whole Figure round their own Partners The other two do the same Then 1. Man turn the 2. wo. cross with the Minuet Step, the other two do the same; then Hands quite round; then turn Hands, sides half round, and back again; the first Couple being at the top, both cast off and turn.
The music is a medley. The A strain is 12 bars of reel. The B strain is 4 bars of minuet, and the C is 16 bars of minuet. Playford says all strains twice, but that's too much music for the dance. In the Neal collection the same tune has the C strain once and that seems likely to be what was intended. Each Strain is to be play'd twice over. is a stock phrase Playford probably inserted without thought.
At the end of the A sections everyone is back where they started. At the end of the B sections everyone is progressed and improper. Then Playford says then Hands quite round; then turn Hands, sides half round, and back again; the first Couple being at the top. Only after a circle round and two half turns over and back, everyone is where they were at the end of the B sections — with the 1s at the bottom not at the top.
So I shall change the then Hands quite round; to a half circle. But that only takes 2 bars, so I'll add a fall back, come forward.
The first Duke of Marlborough, was John Churchill, the title a gift from Queen Anne in 1702 for his military triumphs on the Continent over the French. After the Battle of Blenheim, 1704, again with the assistance of the Crown, he built Blenheim Palace. His wife fell out of favor with the queen and he exiled himself to the Continent, not returning to favor until George I took the throne in 1714.
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 dances of George Williams (including this one) are licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: CC BY-NC-SA license.
|A1||1-4||1st corners set twice|
|5-12||1st corners pass partner left, neighbor right for a diagonal figure eight|
|A2||1-4||2nd corners set twice|
|5-12||2nd corners pass partner right, neighbor left for a diagonal figure eight|
|B1||1-2||1st corners two hand turn|
|3-4||...and change places|
|B1||1-2||2nd corners two hand turn|
|3-4||...and change places|
|C||1-4||Circle left half, fall back with neighbor and come forward|
|5-8||Neighbor mirror hand turn (men right, women left) half over and back (men left women right)|
|9-12||1s long cast down as 2s lead up|
|13-16||1s two hand turn|
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.
The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. The interpretation is copyright © 2023 by George Williams. And is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 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 by George W. Williams V
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.