The Mask

The Mask is an English Country Dance. It was published by John Playford (website) in 1688 in A new Additional Sheet to the Dancing Master, London. It was interpreted by Colin Hume (website) in about 1992 and published in Colin Hume's Website. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The minor set lasts 32 bars. Someone thought this dance was Intermediate.

Playford writes:
The 1. man go above the 1. wo. into the 2. wo. place, the 2. wo. into the 2. man's place, and the 2. man into the 1. man's place, then all four turn S.
The 1. wo. go above the 2. man into the 2. place, the 2. man into the 1. wo. place, and the 2. wo. in to the 2. man's place, the all four turn S.
All four hands a-cross half round, the fall back and hands a-cross half round, then back again, then the two men and two we. lead to the wall at the same time, the other do the like; then all four meet, jump and clap hands, then take hands half round, and so cast off, then lead down and the other lead up, then all four meet and jump, and clap hands all together, then turn their own Partners.

The tune was published with the dance, and the music was synthesized by Colin Hume.

The animation plays at 100 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 (no music plays during this slow set). 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.

An online description of the dance may be found here.

The dance contains the following figures: hand turn (allemande), turn single, circle, cast, lead, hands across (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 © ~1992 by Colin Hume. 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 © 2021,2022,2023,2024 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.