Mundesse

Submitted by Andrew Swaine on Thu, 2018-03-15, 22:14
Historical sources
Set formation
Difficulty

This is a lovely and quite novel dance which is led by each person in turn around the set, rather than each couple – so six times through.

The dance is strongly double based, with stately music, and I’m told it makes a good pavan. I wouldn't advocate skipping this one!

Part 1
A1 (8) Hands six left two doubles. (4)
Facing the centre, set and turn single left. (4)
A2 (8) Hands six right two doubles. (4)
Facing the centre, set and turn single right. (4)
B1 (4) 1M set and turn single left to 1W.
B2 (4) 1W set and turn single right back to 1M.
C (8) 1M honour right to 1W. (2)
2M honour right to 2W. (2)
3M honour right to 3W. (2)
All embrace your partner. Alternative: All honour to the left. (2)
D1 (4) Two hand turn your partner.
D2 (4) Two hand turn your corner the other way.
Part 2
A1 (8) 1C lead forward slowly to the middle of the set and back in two doubles. Alternative: Use two singles and a double forward and the same back.
A2 (8) 1C lead through 2C in two doubles, turn around and lead back in two doubles while (optionally) 2C go forwards around 1C in two doubles, turn around and go back in two doubles.
1W finish facing 2M.
B1 (4) 1W set and turn single left to 1M.
B2 (4) 2M set and turn single right back to 1W.
C (8) 1W honour right to 2M. (2)
2W honour right to 3M. (2)
3W honour right to 1M. (2)
All embrace this person. Alternative: All honour that person to the left. (2)
D1 (4) Two hand turn this person.
D2 (4) Two hand turn your partner the other way.
Parts 3-6
Repeat Part 2, continuing the pattern of moving one person around the set to the right for each time through the dance.

There are four phrases of music, with all but the third (which has no phrasing marks in the text) repeated.  Couples are numbered to the right (see Set Numbering).

Hands and two D. round, set and turne S.  ·  That againe  :  First man set and turne S.  ·  His Wo. as much  :  First man honor to his Wo. 2. as much, 3. as much All embrace. Turne your own  ·  turn Co.  : 
First man lead his Wo. 2. D. forwards and back  ·  Lead forward again, go each between the 2. Cu. and come back againe in the same First Wo. Set and turne S.  ·  To the Co. man  ·  The man as much  :  Honor to her next man, honor to the Co. Wo. 3. honor. Imbrace all. As before  : 
First Wo. lead the Co. man as before  :  Second man set and turne S. to his own Wo.  :  The Wo. as much  :  honor to her next man, first honor, Imbrace all your We. As before  : 
Lead in, every man doing as the first did.

Circle to the left, sts (set and turn single), back to the right, sts – pretty uncontroversial.  In subsequent times through this is replaced by a leading figure, discussed later.

Then 1M sts, presumably to his partner, who sts back. Next time this part is described First wo. set and turne S.  ·  To the Co. man  ·  The man as much  : .  The only way I can make sense of this is to assume there’s an extra phrasing mark and the first bit should simply read First wo. set and tune S. to the Co. man  · , i.e. 1W and 2M are now interacting, the focus of the dance having moved round one person.  The third time it’s described quite clearly for the second couple.

Regarding feet, normally we do the first sts to the left and the second to the right, so we'll do the same here (even though each person only does it once) – which makes them all into the centre of the set.

Then we have some honouring with the following descriptions for the first three times (led by successively 1M, 1W and 2M):

  • First man honor to his Wo. 2. as much, 3. as much

  • Honor to her next man, honor to the Co. Wo. 3. honor.

  • honor to her next man, first honor

For the first time, the interpretations I can think of are either:

  • 1M honour 1W, 2M honour 2W (2. as much), 3M honour 3W (3. as much).

  • 1M honours 1W, 2W and 3W in turn.

Let's see how well each of these fit for the first two parts:

Instruction Interpretation 1 Interpretation 2
First man honor to his Wo. 1M honour 1W 1M honour 1W
2. as much 2M honour 2W 1W honour 2W: arguably “as much to the 2.” would have been more natural but that's tenuous.
3. as much 3M honour 3W 1W honour 3W: ditto.
Honor to her next man 1W honour 2M 1W honour 2M
honor to the Co. 2W honour 3M: requires taking this as an implicit instruction to 2W, honouring her contrary (corner). 1W honour 3M: makes sense as an instruction to 1W if considering this as a round set, working with the next couple around (as we just have been in parts after the first); the contrary is the opposite-sex person from the next couple.
Wo 3. honour 3W honour 1M: quite clear 1W honour 1M: difficult to see how this matches the text, other than considering this to mean "the woman does her third honour".

Then we get to the third part. honor to her next man seems a copy from the previous figure without much thinking, and doesn't make sense under any interpretation I can think of, so I don't think that tells us much. There are only two honours described, and the other one is first honor: the final honour will indeed be 1M honour 1W or 3W honour 1W, so that makes some sense.

Really it's only Wo. 3. honour that gives us any strong guidance, tentatively toward interpretation 1.

Then we get to All embrace / Imbrace all / Imbrace all your We for each time respectively. That probably really does mean a hug of some kind! The third one gives a clue – the men embrace their women (rather than a group hug). With interpretation 1 above, everyone is facing one other person at this point, so that works well. With interpretation 2, all the focus is on the person who's being performing the honours, and so pairing up doesn't feel particularly natural (unless it really is some form of group hug!). So again, I think this leads toward interpretation 1.

In a modern setting, not everyone is comfortable with an actual "embrace" – another honour would be a reasonable substitution, or an honour back from the other person.

At the end I have one turn one way, and the other the other way, for no better reason than I prefer the flow that way.

The second time is begun by First man lead his Wo. 2. D. forwards and back  ·  Lead forwards again, go each between the 2. Cu. and come back againe in the same.  First couple lead two doubles forwards and back, that’s fairly clear, but where? And having done so, how do they go “each” through 2C (“each” normally means separate), and if they simply come back, isn’t that pretty much what they did in the first phrase?

For the first half, it feels as though you'd cover too much ground in the time, and if you do it as eight steps then you would, but if they're actually measured doubles, danced in the style of a Pavan, then they don't cover much ground. And if you want to cover even less ground, a nice variation is to do it as two singles and a double forward and the same back; that's not what it says, but it does match the steps of the Quadran Pavan, the first of the old measures.

For the second half, this is a round dance, so the reference to 2C could intend that the first couple dance with the next couple round to the right.  The entirety of the rest of the dance is in singles and doubles, so I don't really want to break out of that into a walk for a large distance-covering move here. What's described is for 1C to go between 2C, and either fall back or turn around and come back; at a stretch you could interpret it as going through them, separating and going around one to come back home, but that's quite a lot of distance for 1M to cover and dubious from the instructions. So I'll keep it simple and assume that 1C simply go between 2C and back.

If 1C do go through 2C then 2C will have to move out of the way to let them; since they're moving anyway they could move forwards around 1C to make it a more couple-facing-couple move. If they're doing that then it makes sense to turn around and return the way you came.

If we do this six times then everyone gets a go, except 3W1M never get to do their introductory bit. You can make up a 7th time to give them a go, but the dance doesn't need it so I'll stop there.