Posted by Captain Everett on September 10, 1998 at 21:23:07:
In response to Minuet, written by JenniferB. on September 10, 1998 at 17:25:40
] In England, not just during the Regency period, but any others, was the minuet a popular dance? How did it go? What kind of music was played to dance it, fast or slow? Thanks for any help.
As I understand it, the minuet had been a popular "introductory" dance to start the ball. However, it seems to have been less commonly performed by the Regency period. (Sorry, no source, just what I recall hearing.) It's also been a few years since I've danced it, and I'm going from my notes.
The MINUET STEP
The music to the Minuet was rather slow and stately. I don't know the proper terminology, but it had a three-count to the beat (1,2,3) with an emphasis on the first beat. A minuet "step" uses two of these phrases(?), so in effect it has a six-count. It is really a single couple's dance, but it could also be danced in a set. (Men and women line up facing each other; the music would be at the end of the room to the men's left.) The basic minuet steps are as follows:
*1- Step forward with the left foot.
*2- Bring your right instep to your left heel.
*4- Take a small step forward with the right foot.
*5- Take a small step forward with your left foot.
*6- Take a small step forward with your right foot.
The numbers given at the left are for beats of the music; note that they will usually be divisable by 12 (two 6-count basic steps). During a short musical intro, the partners would bow and curtousy to each other.
1 - 12. Join inner hands [man's left, women's right], face down the floor [back to music] and take two minuet steps (2x6).
13 - 24. Face partner, drop hands. Cross over taking two minuet steps; gent keeps lady to his right. You are now in partner's original position.
25 - 36. Join hands again (man's right...) and take two minuet steps towards music.
37 - 48. Face partner and drop hands. Cross over using two minuet steps; gent keeps lady to his right. You are now in original position.
49 - 72. Join both hands, using four minuet steps, circle clockwise, ending in original position.
73 - 96. With hands still joined, circle four m. steps counter-clockwise, completing a 1¼ circle. [This will put the couple in a "diagonal" postion in relation to the room, with man a little further down the room, ie away from music.]
97 - 99. Start the "Z-pattern": Use one m. step to cross over the set (ie men and women pass by their left shoulders.]
100 - 102. Turn to face partner diagonally across the set.
103 - 114. Use two m. steps to form the diagaonal part of "Z". Man and lady pass right by right shoulders.
115 - 117. Use one m. step to cross over the set, finishing the "Z".
118 - 120. Turn to face partner diagonally across the set. You should now be in your partners orginal spot. [From here we essentially "undo" everything we have done so far.]
121 - 123. Start the "Z" pattern: Use one minuet step to cross set (pass left shoulders).
124 - 126. Turn to face partner diagonally across the set.
127 - 138. Use two m. steps to from the diagonal of the Z. Lady keeps to man's left when passing.
139 - 141. Use one m. step to cross over the set.
142 - 144. Turn to face partner diagonally across set. You should be in your original spot.
145 - 168. Join hands, use four m. steps to circle counter-clockwise, ending in diagonal position.
169 - 192. With nands still joined,use four minuet steps to circle clockwise for 1¼ turn. You should end in your original position directly across from your partner.
Drop hands, bow/coutousy...
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