The Riddle

The Riddle is an English Country Dance. It was published by Johnson in 1752 in Two Hundred Favourite Country Dances, Vol. 8, London. It was interpreted by Charles Bolton (website) in 1988 and published in Retreads Vol.3. Originally a Triple Minor this version is a proper 3 Couple Longways dance. The minor set lasts 16 bars.

Johnson writes:
Half figure down on your own sides Lead up to the Top and cast off Set 3 sides the Man cast down the Wo. up. Set 3 Top and Bottom the Wo. case down and the Man up.

Bolton does not say so, but the original looks like a triple minor to me.

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 Charles Bolton (including interpretations like this one) are licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: CC BY-NC-SA license by the CDSS Online Library.
An online description of the dance may be found here.

A11-4M2 face up, W2 down, 2s start right shoulder half heys for three on the sides
A21-41s lead to top and cast to middle (2s lead down)
B11-2Lines of three on the sides, set
3-4Man down, women up, 1s cast to ends
B21-2Lines of three on the ends, set
3-41s cast back to middle

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 © 1988 by Charles Bolton. And is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: CC BY-NC-SA license. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2021 by George W. Williams V and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: CC BY-NC-SA 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.